Functional identification of valerena-1,10-diene synthase, a terpene synthase catalyzing a unique chemical cascade in the biosynthesis of biologically active sesquiterpenes in Valeriana officinalis
Background: Therapeutic values of Valeriana officinalis have been associated with sesquiterpenes whose biosynthetic origins have remained enigmatic. Results: A cyclobutenyl intermediate in the catalytic cascade of valerena-1,10-diene synthase is reported. Conclusion: A new class of sesquiterpene synthases for the biosynthesis of sesquiterpenes harboring isobutenyl functional groups is proposed. Significance: Similar catalytic mechanisms from evolutionarily diverse organisms are proposed and portend sources for sesquiterpene diversity. © 2013 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.