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Orange, red, yellow: biosynthesis of azaphilone pigments in Monascus fungi

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Abstract

Monascus azaphilone pigments (MonAzPs) are very widely used as food colorants, but their biosynthetic pathway has remained poorly characterized for more than half a century. In this study, the individual steps of MonAzPs biosynthesis in Monascus ruber M7 were elucidated by a combination of targeted gene knockouts, heterologous gene expression, and in vitro chemical and enzymatic reactions. This study describes the first rational engineering of MonAzPs biosynthesis and provides a roadmap for future pathway engineering efforts directed towards the selective production of the most valuable pigments and serves as a model for the biosynthesis of fungal azaphilones in general.

Graphical abstract: Orange, red, yellow: biosynthesis of azaphilone pigments in Monascus fungi

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Publication details

The article was received on 31 Jan 2017, accepted on 20 Apr 2017 and first published on 24 Apr 2017


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C7SC00475C
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2017, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Orange, red, yellow: biosynthesis of azaphilone pigments in Monascus fungi

    W. Chen, R. Chen, Q. Liu, Y. He, K. He, X. Ding, L. Kang, X. Guo, N. Xie, Y. Zhou, Y. Lu, R. J. Cox, I. Molnár, M. Li, Y. Shao and F. Chen, Chem. Sci., 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7SC00475C

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