Cytochrome P450 enzymes (P450s) are integral components in the biochemical pathways of natural products. The amazing structural diversity afforded to secondary metabolites creates a broad scope of pharmaceutical applications including, but not limited to, antibiotic, antitumor, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and immunosuppressive agents. Terpenes are one of the most common types of natural products and are biologically synthesized through combination of isoprene units followed by enzymatic cyclization by terpene cyclases to produce carbon skeletons. P450s act on these carbon skeletons by catalyzing primarily oxidative reactions to functionalize the scaffolds.
Streptomyces, a member of the Actinomycetes, abundantly produce natural products and correspondingly contain >7550 unique P450 sequences (as of January 2017). However, with only around 2.4% of these functionally characterized, researchers are missing an integral piece of the puzzle when it comes to natural product discovery.
This project aims to compare a novel operon five-gene operon to a highly similar four-gene operon to characterize the additional gene/P450.