Journal article Open Access

Enniatin and Beauvericin Biosynthesis in Fusarium Species: Production Profiles and Structural Determinant Prediction

Vania C. Liuzzi; Valentina Mirabelli; Maria Teresa Cimmarusti; Miriam Haidukowski; John F. Leslie; Antonio F. Logrieco; Rocco Caliandro; Francesca Fanelli; Giuseppina Mulè

Members of the fungal genus Fusarium can produce numerous secondary metabolites, including the nonribosomal mycotoxins beauvericin (BEA) and enniatins (ENNs). Both mycotoxins are synthesized by the multifunctional enzyme enniatin synthetase (ESYN1) that contains both peptide synthetase and S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent N-methyltransferase activities. Several Fusarium species can produce ENNs, BEA or both, but the mechanism(s) enabling these differential metabolic profiles is unknown. In this study, we analyzed the primary structure of ESYN1 by sequencing esyn1 transcripts from different Fusarium species. We measured ENNs and BEA production by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array and Acquity QDa mass detector (UPLC-PDA-QDa) analyses. We predicted protein structures, compared the predictions by multivariate analysis methods and found a striking correlation between BEA/ENN-producing profiles and ESYN1 three-dimensional structures. Structural differences in the β strand’s Asn789-Ala793 and His797-Asp802 portions of the amino acid adenylation domain can be used to distinguish BEA/ENN-producing Fusarium isolates from those that produce only ENN.

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