Fusion-type lycopene β-cyclase from a thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus

Hisashi Hemmi, Satoru Ikejiri, Toru Nakayama, Tokuzo Nishino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Examination of the sequence of a hypothetical gene with an unknown function included in the carotenogenic gene cluster in the genome of a thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus led to the prediction that the gene encodes a novel-type lycopene β-cyclase, whose N- and C-terminal halves are homologous to the subunits of the bacterial heterodimeric enzymes. The recombinant expression of the gene in lycopene-producing Escherichia coli resulted in the accumulation of β-carotene in the cells, which verifies the function of the gene. Homologues of the archaeal lycopene β-cyclase from various organisms such as bacteria, archaea, and fungi have been reported. Although their primary structures are clearly specific to the biological taxa, a phylogenetic analysis revealed the unexpected complicity of the evolutional route of these enzymes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-591
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jun 6


  • Archaea
  • Carotenoid
  • Cyclase
  • Evolution
  • Lycopene
  • Lycopene β-cyclase
  • Phylogeny
  • Sulfolobus
  • Zeaxanthin
  • β-Carotene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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