Metabolic Fate of Phenylalanine in the Corn Smut Fungus Ustilago maydis

옥수수 깜부기균에 의한 페닐알라닌의 대사적 분해

  • Hyun, Min-Woo (Department of Microbiology and Institute of Basic Sciences, Dankook University) ;
  • Kim, Seong-Hwan (Department of Microbiology and Institute of Basic Sciences, Dankook University)
  • 현민우 (단국대학교 미생물학과 및 기초과학연구소) ;
  • 김성환 (단국대학교 미생물학과 및 기초과학연구소)
  • Received : 2011.10.31
  • Accepted : 2011.11.04
  • Published : 2011.12.01


Cetecol has been known as a component of melanin in teliospores of the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis. Its metabolic precursor has been assumed to be benzoic acid but it has not been proven yet. This study was carried out to verify the synthesis of benzoic acid and to chase its metabolic origin in U. maydis. For this aim, the catabolic process of phenylalanine was investigated by culturing the fungus in the complete medium containing L-$^{14}C$-phenylalanine and $^{14}C$-trans-cinnamic acid. We detected trans-cinnamic acid, benzoic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid and hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives from the extracts of the fungus cells and cultural filtrates by thin layered chromatography analysis. We also observed that the fungus could completely catabolize L-$^{14}C$-phenylalanine and produce $^{14}CO_2$ in the air. Conclusively, this study provided an evidence that U. maydis could produce benzoic acid through catabolic process of phenylalanine.


Supported by : 한국연구재단


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