The Resurgence of Dirigent Story: Time for a Bacterial Chapter


For several decades, dirigent (DIR) domain-containing proteins have been assumed to be green lineage-specific, responsible for the defence response and lignan/lignin biosynthesis. Despite their high potential in terms of biotechnology and chemistry, to date there have been very few well-studied plant DIRs. However, recent achievements in sequencing technologies have allowed for discovery of DIR genes in bacteria. This prospective study suggests expansion of the focus of research to consider the existence of bacterial DIRs. It also considers the outlook for understanding DIR functioning with respect to the fields of green lineage evolution, organic synthesis, and biotechnology.

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Correspondence to Siarhei A. Dabravolski.

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 94 kb)SFigure 1. Alignment of bacterial DIRs and some plant (+)- and (-) pinoresinol-forming DIRs. MUSCLE [30] alignment was conducted in Ugene software [31] and coloured as % of identity. All active and conserved sites as reviewed in [32], structure elements of AtDIR6 [33] (5LAL accession in PDB) shown above the alignment.

Supplementary material 2 (PDF 67 kb)SFigure 2 Phylogenetic tree of bacterial and Arabidopsis thaliana DIR domain-containing proteins. Neighbour-Joining method [34] with JTT substitution model was used to reconstruct phylogenetic tree in MEGA X software [35]. Reliability for the internal branch was assessed using the bootstrapping method (1000 bootstrap replicates).


Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 16 kb)STable 1. List of bacterial DIRs accessions (uniprot). Identified with InterPro (EMBL; bacterial dirigent proteins (IPR004265). Sequences were used for alignment (SFig. 1) and phylogenetic tree reconstruction (SFig. 2).

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Dabravolski, S.A. The Resurgence of Dirigent Story: Time for a Bacterial Chapter. Curr Microbiol 77, 517–521 (2020).

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