Amatoxins, including α-amanitin, are bicyclic octapeptides found in mushrooms (Agaricomycetes, Agaricales) of certain species in the genera Amanita, Galerina, Lepiota, and Conocybe. Amatoxins and the chemically similar phallotoxins are synthesized on ribosomes in Amanita bisporigera, Amanita phalloides, and Amanita ocreata. In order to determine if amatoxins are synthesized by a similar mechanism in another, distantly related mushroom, we obtained genome survey sequence data from a monokaryotic isolate of Galerina marginata, which produces α-amanitin. The genome of G. marginata contains two copies of the α-amanitin gene (GmAMA1-1 and GmAMA1-2). The α-amanitin proprotein sequences of G. marginata (35 amino acids) are highly divergent from AMA1 of A. bisporigera except for the toxin region itself (IWGIGCNP in single-letter amino acid code) and the amino acids immediately upstream (N[A/S]TRLP). G. marginata does not contain any related toxin-encoding sequences besides GmAMA1-1 and GmAMA1-2. DNA from two other α-amanitin-producing isolates of Galerina (G. badipes and G. venenata) hybridized to GmAMA1, whereas DNA from the toxin non-producing species Galerina hybrida did not. Expression of the GmAMA1 genes was induced by growth on low carbon. RNASeq evidence indicates that both copies of GmAMA1 are expressed approximately equally. A prolyl oligopeptidase (POP) is strongly implicated in processing of the cyclic peptide toxins of A. bisporigera and Conocybe apala. G. marginata has two predicted POP genes; one, like AbPOPB of A. bisporigera, is present only in the toxin-producing isolates of Galerina and the other, like AbPOPA of A. bisporigera, is present in all species. Our results indicate that G. marginata biosynthesizes amatoxins on ribosomes by a pathway similar to Amanita species, involving a genetically encoded proprotein of 35 amino acids that is post-translationally processed by a POP. However, due to the high degree of divergence, the evolutionary relationship between AMA1 in the genera Amanita and Galerina is unclear.
- Cyclic peptide
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