The Laetiporus polyketide synthase LpaA produces a series of antifungal polyenes.
Seibold PS, Lenz C, Gressler M, Hoffmeister D 2020 The Laetiporus polyketide synthase LpaA produces a series of antifungal polyenes. J Antibiot (Tokyo) 73, 711-720.
The conspicuous bright golden to orange-reddish coloration of species of the basidiomycete genus Laetiporus is a hallmark feature of their fruiting bodies, known among mushroom hunters as the "chicken of the woods". This report describes the identification of an eight-domain mono-modular highly reducing polyketide synthase as sole enzyme necessary for laetiporic acid biosynthesis. Heterologous pathway reconstitution in both Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus niger verified that LpaA functions as a multi-chain length polyene synthase, which produces a cocktail of laetiporic acids with a methyl-branched C26-C32 main chain. Laetiporic acids show a marked antifungal activity on Aspergillus protoplasts. Given the multiple products of a single biosynthesis enzyme, our work underscores the diversity-oriented character of basidiomycete natural product biosynthesis.