Nonnatural biosynthetic pathway for 2-hydroxylated xanthophylls with C50-carotenoid backbone

Ling Li, Maiko Furubayashi, Yusuke Otani, Takashi Maoka, Norihiko Misawa, Shigeko Kawai-Noma, Kyoichi Saito, Daisuke Umeno*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Carotenoids are structurally diverse pigments with various important biological functions. There has been a large interest in the search for novel carotenoid structures, since only a slight structural changes can result in a drastic difference in their biological functions. Carotenoid-modifying enzymes show remarkable substrate promiscuity, allowing rapid access to a vast set of novel carotenoids by combinatorial biosynthesis. We previously constructed a nonnatural carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in Escherichia coli that can produce C50 carotenoids having a longer chain than their natural C40 counterparts. In this study, a carotenoid 2,2'-hydroxylase (crtG) from Brevundimonas sp. SD212 was coexpressed together with our laboratory-engineered C50-zeaxanthin and C50-astaxanthin biosynthetic pathways. We identified six novel nonnatural C50-xanthophylls, namely, C50-nostoxanthin, C50-caloxanthin, C50-adonixanthin, C50-4-ketonostoxanthin, C50-2-hydroxyastaxanthin, and C50-2,2′-dihydroxyastaxanthin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-444
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosynthesis
  • Hydroxylase
  • Isoprenoids
  • Synthetic biology
  • Xanthophylls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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