A Role for Old Yellow Enzyme in Ergot Alkaloid Biosynthesis
Johnathan Z. Cheng, Christine M. Coyle,
Daniel G. Panaccione*, Sarah E. O’Connor*
J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2010) 132, 1776-1777
Ergot alkaloids, secondary metabolites produced by filamentous fungi, elicit a diverse array of pharmacological effects. The biosynthesis of this class of natural products has not been fully elucidated. The O'Connor Lab demonstrates that a homolog of Old Yellow Enzyme encoded in the Aspergillus fumigatus ergot gene cluster catalyzes reduction of the α,β unsaturated alkene of chanoclavine-I aldehyde 3. This reduction, which yields dihydrochanoclavine aldehyde, facilitates an intramolecular reaction between a secondary amine and aldehyde to form the D ring of the ergot alkaloid structural framework.