Article open access publication

Characterization of a dynamic metabolon producing the defense compound dhurrin in sorghum

Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), ISSN 0036-8075

Volume 354, 6314, 2016

DOI:10.1126/science.aag2347, Dimensions: pub.1062668353, PMID: 27856908,



  1. (1) Joint BioEnergy Institute, grid.451372.6
  2. (2) SYNergy, Center for Synthetic Biology, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  3. (3) VILLUM Research Center for Plant Plasticity, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  4. (4) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  5. (5) University of Southern Denmark, grid.10825.3e, SDU
  6. (6) National University of Singapore, grid.4280.e
  7. (7) Government of the United Kingdom, grid.421947.d
  8. (8) University of Birmingham, grid.6572.6
  9. (9) Carlsberg Research Laboratory, DK-1799 Copenhagen V, Denmark


Metabolic highways may be orchestrated by the assembly of sequential enzymes into protein complexes, or metabolons, to facilitate efficient channeling of intermediates and to prevent undesired metabolic cross-talk while maintaining metabolic flexibility. Here we report the isolation of the dynamic metabolon that catalyzes the formation of the cyanogenic glucoside dhurrin, a defense compound produced in sorghum plants. The metabolon was reconstituted in liposomes, which demonstrated the importance of membrane surface charge and the presence of the glucosyltransferase for metabolic channeling. We used in planta fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to study functional and structural characteristics of the metabolon. Understanding the regulation of biosynthetic metabolons offers opportunities to optimize synthetic biology approaches for efficient production of high-value products in heterologous hosts.


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Times Cited: 117

Field Citation Ratio (FCR): 31.74

Relative Citation ratio (RCR): 6.77

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Green, Published