Metabolic solutions to the biosynthesis of some diaminomonocarboxylic acids in nature: Formation in cyanobacteria of the neurotoxins 3-N-methyl-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid (BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutanoic acid (2,4-DAB)

Peter B. Nunn (Lead / Corresponding author), Geoffrey A. Codd

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The non-encoded diaminomonocarboxylic acids, 3-N-methyl-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid (syn: α-amino-β-methylaminopropionic acid, MeDAP; β-N-methylaminoalanine, BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutanoic acid (2,4-DAB), are distributed widely in cyanobacterial species in free and bound forms. Both amino acids are neurotoxic in whole animal and cell-based bioassays. The biosynthetic pathway to 2,4-DAB is well documented in bacteria and in one higher plant species, but has not been confirmed in cyanobacteria. The biosynthetic pathway to BMAA is unknown. This review considers possible metabolic routes, by analogy with reactions used in other species, by which these amino acids might be biosynthesised by cyanobacteria, which are a widespread potential environmental source of these neurotoxins. Where possible, the gene expression that might be implicated in these biosyntheses is discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)253-270
    Number of pages18
    JournalPhytochemistry Reviews
    Volume144
    Early online date21 Oct 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

    Keywords

    • 2,3-Diaminopropanoic acid
    • 2,3-DAP
    • 3-N-Methyl-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid
    • BMAA
    • 2,4-Diaminobutanoic acid
    • 2,4-DAB
    • 2,3-Diaminobutanoic acid
    • 2,3-DAB
    • 3-N-Methyl-2,3-diaminobutanoic acid
    • AMBA
    • Biosynthesis
    • Cyanobacteria

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