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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

Impact factor: 1.357

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v16.i2.20
pages 115-124

Three Types of Geranylgeranyl Diphosphate Synthases from the Medicinal Caterpillar Fungus, Cordyceps militaris (Ascomycetes)

Tiantian Lian
College of Land and Environment, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, 110866, China; State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China
Caihong Dong
State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Tao Yang
State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
Junde Sun
College of Land and Environment, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, 110866, China

ABSTRACT

Geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGPPS) is a key enzyme in the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway, catalyzing the synthesis of its C20 precursor. In the present study, three types of ggpps genes were cloned and analyzed from the Caterpillar Medicinal Fungus Cordyceps militaris, a valued carotenoid-producing species. The sequences were named as ggpps727, ggpps191, and ggpps595. The open reading frame codes for predicted polypeptides of 464, 550, and 431 aa. Three predicted GGPPSs had a high similarity to that from Beauveria bassiana ARSEF 2860 with identity of 73%, 71%, and 56%, respectively. Homology comparison of the deduced peptide sequences of the various GGPPSs revealed highly conserved domains. Both GGPPS727 and GGPPS191 from C. militaris contained all five domains highly conserved among prenyltransferases as well as two aspartate-rich DDXX(XX)D motifs in domains II and V, which have been proven essential for prenyltransferase activity. By constructing the phylogenetic tree of fungal GGPPSs, it was found that fungi-derived GGPPSs could be divided into three clusters, suggesting there were three types of GGPPSs in fungi. Each type may be responsible for a different metabolism. Three types of GGPPSs from C. militaris belonged to the different clusters separately. Expression analysis of three ggpps genes during the fruit body cultivation of C. militaris by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) suggested the ggpps 191 gene may be involved in the synthesis of carotenoids and ggpps 727 may be responsible for primary metabolism. This is the first report of the GGPPS from C. militaris, a valued edible and medicinal fungus.