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The medicinal plant Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) synthesizes numerous terpenoid indole alkaloids (TIAs), such as the anticancer drugs vinblastine and vincristine. The TIA pathway operates in a complex metabolic network that steers plant growth and survival. Pathway databases and metabolic networks reconstructed from 'omics' sequence data can(More)
The increasing number of sequenced plant genomes is placing new demands on the methods applied to analyze, annotate, and model these genomes. Today's annotation pipelines result in inconsistent gene assignments that complicate comparative analyses and prevent efficient construction of metabolic models. To overcome these problems, we have developed the(More)
Genes specifying the thiamin monophosphate phosphatase and adenylated thiazole diphosphatase steps in fungal and plant thiamin biosynthesis remain unknown, as do genes for ThDP (thiamin diphosphate) hydrolysis in thiamin metabolism. A distinctive Nudix domain fused to Tnr3 (thiamin diphosphokinase) in Schizosaccharomyces pombe was evaluated as a candidate(More)
The haloacid dehalogenase (HAD)-like enzymes comprise a large superfamily of phosphohydrolases present in all organisms. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome encodes at least 19 soluble HADs, including 10 uncharacterized proteins. Here, we biochemically characterized 13 yeast phosphatases from the HAD superfamily, which includes both specific and promiscuous(More)
Plants and bacteria synthesize the essential human micronutrient riboflavin (vitamin B2) via the same multi-step pathway. The early intermediates of this pathway are notoriously reactive and may be overproduced in vivo because riboflavin biosynthesis enzymes lack feedback controls. In the present paper, we demonstrate disposal of riboflavin intermediates by(More)
Gene fusions are the most powerful type of in silico-derived functional associations. However, many fusion compilations were made when <100 genomes were available, and algorithms for identifying fusions need updating to handle the current avalanche of sequenced genomes. The availability of a large fusion dataset would help probe functional associations and(More)
The penultimate step of thiamin diphosphate (ThDP) synthesis in plants and many bacteria is dephosphorylation of thiamin monophosphate (ThMP). Non-specific phosphatases have been thought to mediate this step and no genes encoding specific ThMP phosphatases (ThMPases) are known. Comparative genomic analysis uncovered bacterial haloacid dehalogenase (HAD)(More)
The B vitamin thiamin is essential for central metabolism in all cellular organisms including plants. While plants synthesize thiamin de novo, organs vary widely in their capacities for thiamin synthesis. We use a transcriptomics approach to appraise the distribution of de novo synthesis and thiamin salvage pathways among organs of maize. We identify at(More)
We report a new label-free biosensor system for protein interaction characterization The system consists of a VCSEL, a plastic guided mode resonant filter, and a pin detector. The sensor has high sensitivity and ultra compactness, consumes low power, and can be fabricated in 2D arrays. One of the greatest challenges in molecular biology is to understand how(More)
The folate-dependent protein YgfZ of Escherichia coli participates in the synthesis and repair of iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters; it belongs to a family of enzymes that use folate to capture formaldehyde units. Ablation of ygfZ is known to reduce growth, to increase sensitivity to oxidative stress, and to lower the activities of MiaB and other Fe-S enzymes. It(More)