The shikimic acid pathway and polyketide biosynthesis

D. J. Wilson, S. Patton, G. Florova, V. Hale, K. A. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The shikimic acid pathway, ubiquitous in microorganisms and plants, provides precursors for the biosynthesis of primary metabolites such as the aromatic amino acids and folic acid. Several branchpoints from the primary metabolic pathway also provide aromatic and, in some unusual cases, nonaromatic precursors for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. We report herein recent progress in the analysis of two unusual branches of the shikimic acid pathway in streptomycetes the formation of the cyclohexanecarboxylic acid (CHC)-derived moiety of the antifungal agent ansatrienin and the dihydroxycyclohexanecarboxylic acid (DHCHC) starter unit for the biosynthesis of the immunosuppressant ascomycin. A gene for 1-cyclohexenylcarbonyl-CoA reductase, chcA, which plays a role in catalyzing three of the reductive steps leading from shikimic acid to CHC has been characterized from Streptomyces collinus. A cluster of six open reading frames (ORFs) has been identified by sequencing in both directions from chcA and the putative role of these in CHC biosynthesis is discussed. The individual steps involved in the biosynthesis of DHCHC from shikimic acid in Streptomyces hygroscopicus var ascomyceticus has been delineated and shown to be stereochemically and enzymatically distinct from the CHC pathway. A dehydroquinate dehydratase gene (dhq) likely Involved in providing shikimic acid for both DHCHC biosynthesis and primary metabolism has been cloned, sequenced and characterized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunosuppressant
  • Polyketide
  • Shikmic acid
  • Streptomycetes


Dive into the research topics of 'The shikimic acid pathway and polyketide biosynthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this