(8 R )-Hydroperoxy-(9 Z ,12 Z )-octadecadienoic acid (8-HPODE) is formed by aspergilli as an intermediate in biosynthesis of oxylipins with effects on sporulation. 8-HPODE is transformed by separate diol synthases to (5 S ,8 R )-dihydroxy- and (8 R ,11 S )-dihydroxy-(9 Z ,12 Z )-octadecadienoic acids (5,8- and 8,11-DiHODE). The former is formed by the cytochrome P450 (P450) domain of 5,8-linoleate diol synthase (5,8-LDS or PpoA). Our aim was to characterize the 8,11-diol synthase of Aspergillus fumigatus , which is prominent in many strains. The 8,11-diol synthase was soluble and had a larger molecular size (>100 kDa) than most P450. Miconazole, ketoconazole, and 1-benzylimidazole, classical inhibitors of P450, reduced the biosynthesis of 8,11-DiHODE from 8-HPODE (apparent IC 50 values ~0.8, ~5, and ~0.6 μM, respectively), but did not inhibit the biosynthesis of 5,8-DiHODE. Analysis of hydroperoxides of regioisomeric C 18 and C 20 fatty acids showed that the 8,11-diol synthase was specific for certain hydroperoxides with R configuration. The suprafacial hydrogen abstraction and oxygen insertion at C-11 of 8-HPODE was associated with a small deuterium kinetic isotope effect ( H k cat / D k cat ~1.5), consistent with P450-catalyzed oxidation. The genome of A. fumigatus contains over 70 P450 sequences. The reaction mechanism, size, and solubility of 8,11-diol synthase pointed to PpoB, a homologue of 5,8-LDS, as a possible candidate of this activity. Gene deletion of ppoB of A. fumigatus strains AF:∆ku80 and J272 did not inhibit biosynthesis of 8,11-DiHODE and recombinant PpoB appeared to lack diol synthase activity. We conclude that 8,11-DiHODE is formed from 8-HPODE by a soluble and substrate-specific 8,11-diol synthase with catalytic characteristics of class III P450.
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