A promiscuous cytochrome P450 aromatic O-demethylase for lignin bioconversion

Sam J. B. Mallinson, Melodie M. Machovina, Rodrigo L. Silveira, Marc Garcia-Borràs, Nathan Gallup, Christopher W. Johnson, Mark D. Allen, Munir S. Skaf, Michael F. Crowley, Ellen L. Neidle, Kendall N. Houk, Gregg T. Beckham, Jennifer L. DuBois, John McGeehan

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Abstract

Microbial aromatic catabolism offers a promising approach to convert lignin, a vast source of renewable carbon, into useful products. Aryl-O-demethylation is an essential biochemical reaction to ultimately catabolize coniferyl and sinapyl lignin-derived aromatic compounds, and is often a key bottleneck for both native and engineered bioconversion pathways. Here, we report the comprehensive characterization of a promiscuous P450 aryl-O-demethylase, consisting of a cytochrome P450 protein from the family CYP255A (GcoA) and a three-domain reductase (GcoB) that together represent a new two-component P450 class. Though originally described as converting guaiacol to catechol, we show that this system efficiently demethylates both guaiacol and an unexpectedly wide variety of lignin-relevant monomers. Structural, biochemical, and computational studies of this novel two-component system elucidate the mechanism of its broad substrate specificity, presenting it as a new tool for a critical step in biological lignin conversion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2487
JournalNature Communications
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • RCUK
  • BBSRC
  • BB/P011918/1
  • BB/L001926/1

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