Submitted to: American Chemical Society Symposium Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2008
Publication Date: 12/20/2009
Citation: Gerber, R., Lou, L., Huffman, J., Zhu, X., Lin, T., Li, L.Q., Arreguin, I., Butchko, R.A., Proctor, R., Du, L. 2009. Advances in Understanding the Biosynthesis of Fumonisins. In: Appell, M., Kendra, D. F., and Trucksess, M. W., editors. Mycotoxin Prevention and Control in Agriculture. Washington DC: American Chemical Society Symposium Series 1031. p. 167-182. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Fumonisins are a group of economically important mycotoxins that are derived polyketides. Since the cloning of the fumonisin polyketide synthase (PKS) gene from Fusarium verticillioides in 1999, significant advances have been made in understanding the molecular mechanisms for fumonisin biosynthesis. The 17-gene cluster (FUM) required for fumonisin biosynthesis, regulation, and possibly resistance has been extensively studied using the gene disruption approach. Genetic manipulations of the fumonisin PKS gene have shed light on the mechanism for fungal highly-reducing PKS to control the structure of products. A number of FUM genes have been heterologously expressed, and the role of these genes in fumonisin biosynthesis have been demonstrated by determining the chemical reactions catalyzed by the purified enzymes. Together, these efforts have established a general biosynthetic pathway for fumonisins and revealed several fascinating enzymatic reactions. In spite of the progress, many questions remain. Future efforts should focus on addressing the molecular mechanistic details in fumonisin polyketide chain assembly, releasing, and modifications by the unusual functional groups.