Proteomic insights on the metabolism of Penicillium janczewskii during the biotransformation of the plant terpenoid labdanolic acid

Isabel Martins, Adélia Varela, Luís M.T. Frija, Mónica A.S. Estevão, Sébastien Planchon, Jenny Renaut, Carlos A.M. Afonso, Cristina Silva Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plant terpenoids compose a natural source of chemodiversity of exceptional value. Many of these compounds own biological/pharmacological activity, others are regarded as unique chemical skeletons for the synthesis of derivatives with improved properties. Functional chemical modification of terpenoids through biotransformation frequently relies on the use of Ascomycota strains, but information on major cellular responses is still largely lacking. Penicillium janczewskii mediates a stereo-selective hydroxylation of labdanolic acid (LA)-terpenoid found abundantly in Cistus ladanifer-producing 3β-hydroxy-labdanolic acid with yields > 90%. Herein, combined analyses of mycelial and extracellular differential proteomes demonstrated that the plant terpenoid increased stress responses, especially against oxidative stress (e.g., accumulation of superoxide dismutase) and apparently altered mitochondria functioning. One putative cytochrome P450 monooxygenase differentially accumulated in the secretome and the terpenoid bioconversion was inhibited in vivo in the presence of a P450 inhibitor. The stereo-selective hydroxylation of the plant terpenoid is likely mediated by P450 enzymes, yet its unequivocal identity remains unclear. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that proteomics was used to investigate how a plant terpenoid impacts the metabolism of a filamentous fungus during its efficiently biotransformation. Our findings may encourage the development of new strategies for the valorization of plant natural resources through biotechnology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Issue numberAUG
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017


  • Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase
  • Labdanolic acid
  • Penicillium janczewskii
  • Proteomics
  • Stress response
  • Terpenoids biotransformation


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