Tanshinones: Leading the way into Lamiaceae labdane-related diterpenoid biosynthesis

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2022-04
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Peters, Reuben J.
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© 2022 Elsevier Ltd.
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Peters, Reuben
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Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Abstract
Tanshinones are the bioactive diterpenoid constituents of the traditional Chinese medicinal herb Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), and are examples of the phenolic abietanes widely found within the Lamiaceae plant family. Due to the significant interest in these labdane-related diterpenoid natural products, their biosynthesis has been intensively investigated. In addition to providing the basis for metabolic engineering efforts, this work further yielded pioneering insights into labdane-related diterpenoid biosynthesis in the Lamiaceae more broadly. This includes stereochemical foreshadowing of aromatization, with novel protein domain loss in the relevant diterpene synthase, as well as broader phylogenetic conservation of the relevant enzymes. Beyond such summary of more widespread metabolism, formation of the furan ring that characterizes the tanshinones also has been recently elucidated. Nevertheless, the biocatalysts for the pair of demethylations remain unknown, and the intriguing potential connection of these reactions to the further aromatization observed in the tanshinones are speculated upon here.
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This is a manuscript of an article published as Wang, Zhibiao, and Reuben J. Peters. "Tanshinones: Leading the way into Lamiaceae labdane-related diterpenoid biosynthesis." Current Opinion in Plant Biology 66 (2022): 102189. doi:10.1016/j.pbi.2022.102189. Posted with permission. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.
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