Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Starter unit specificity directs genome mining of polyketide synthase pathways in fungi.

Authors: Crawford, Jason M; Vagstad, Anna L; Ehrlich, Kenneth C; Townsend, Craig A

Published In Bioorg Chem, (2008 Feb)

Abstract: Search of the protein database with the aflatoxin pathway polyketide synthase (PKS) revealed putative PKSs in the pathogenic fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii that could require partnerships with a pair of fatty acid synthase (FAS) subunits for the biosynthesis of fatty acid-polyketide hybrid metabolites. A starter unit:acyl-carrier protein transacylase (SAT) domain was discovered in the nonreducing PKS. This domain is thought to accept the fatty acid product from the FAS to initiate polyketide synthesis. We expressed the C. immitis SAT domain in Escherichia coli and showed that this domain, unlike that from the aflatoxin pathway PKS, transferred octanoyl-CoA four times faster than hexanoyl-CoA. The SAT domain also formed a covalent octanoyl intermediate and transferred this group to a free-standing ACP domain. Our results suggest that C. immitis/posadasii, both human fungal pathogens, contain a FAS/PKS cluster with functional similarity to the aflatoxin cluster found in Aspergillus species. Dissection of the PKS and determination of in vitro SAT domain specificity provides a tool to uncover the growing number of similar sequenced pathways in fungi, and to guide elucidation of the fatty acid-polyketide hybrid metabolites that they produce.

PubMed ID: 18215412 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Acyl Coenzyme A/metabolism; Acyltransferases/metabolism; Aflatoxins/metabolism; Binding Sites; Coccidioides/classification; Coccidioides/genetics*; Coccidioides/metabolism*; Databases, Protein; Escherichia coli/enzymology; Escherichia coli/genetics; Fatty Acid Synthases/metabolism; Fatty Acids/metabolism; Genome, Fungal*; Polyketide Synthases/genetics*; Polyketide Synthases/metabolism*; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Signal Transduction/genetics*; Substrate Specificity

to Top