Evolution of A Pathway to Novel Long-Chain Carotenoids

Daisuke Umeno*, Frances H. Arnold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Using methods of laboratory evolution to force the C30 carotenoid synthase CrtM to function as a C40 synthase, followed by further mutagenesis at functionally important amino acid residues, we have discovered that synthase specificity is controlled at the second (rearrangement) step of the two-step reaction. We used this information to engineer CrtM variants that can synthesize previously unknown C45 and C 50 carotenoid backbones (mono- and diisopentenylphytoenes) from the appropriate isoprenyldiphosphate precursors. With this ability to produce new backbones in Escherichia coli comes the potential to generate whole series of novel carotenoids by using carotenoid-modifying enzymes, including desaturases, cyclases, hydroxylases, and dioxygenases, from naturally occurring pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1536
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of A Pathway to Novel Long-Chain Carotenoids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this