Current opinion in chemical biology

Biosynthesis of pyranonaphthoquinone polyketides reveals diverse strategies for enzymatic carbon-carbon bond formation.

PMID 23886982


Pyranonaphthoquinones synthesized by Streptomyces bacteria via type II polyketide pathways are aromatic compounds build around a common three-ring structure, which is composed of pyran, quinone and benzene rings. Over the years, actinorhodin in particular has served as a model compound for studying the biosynthesis of aromatic polyketides, while some of the other metabolites such as granaticin, medermycin, frenolicin and alnumycin A have enabled comparative studies that complement our understanding how these complex biological systems function and have evolved. In addition, despite the similarity of the aglycone units, pyranonaphthoquinones in effect display remarkable diversity in tailoring reactions, which include numerous enzymatic carbon-carbon bond forming reactions. This review focuses on the current status of molecular genetic, biochemical and structural investigations on this intriguing family of natural products.