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Accumulation of prenyl alcohols by terpenoid biosynthesis inhibitors in various microorganisms


Squalene synthase inhibitors significantly accelerate the production of farnesol by various microorganisms. However, farnesol production by Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATCC 64031, in which the squalene synthase gene is deleted, was not affected by the inhibitors, indicating that farnesol accumulation is enhanced in the absence of squalene synthase activity. The combination of diphenylamine as an inhibitor of carotenoid biosynthesis and a squalene synthase inhibitor increases geranylgeraniol production by a yeast, Rhodotorula rubra NBRC 0870. An ent-kauren synthase inhibitor also enhances the production of farnesol and geranylgeraniol by a filamentous fungus, Gibberella fujikuroi NBRC 30336. These results indicate that the inhibition of downstream enzymes from prenyl diphosphate synthase leads to the production of farnesol and geranylgeraniol.

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We thank Prof. T. Sassa (Faculty of Agriculture, Yamagata University) for the technical advice regarding cultivation of G. fujikuroi and gibberellin inhibitors.

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Correspondence to Sakayu Shimizu.

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Muramatsu, M., Ohto, C., Obata, S. et al. Accumulation of prenyl alcohols by terpenoid biosynthesis inhibitors in various microorganisms. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 80, 589 (2008).

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  • Farnesol
  • Farnesyl diphosphate
  • Geranylgeraniol
  • Prenyl alcohol
  • Terpenoid