Clustering of sorghum defense-compound dhurrin proteins into a metabolon ($)


A metabolon is a physical clustering of metabolic pathway proteins. Until now, evidence for metabolons has been patchy, but Laursen et al. convincingly demonstrate the physical association of several enzymes involved in the production of dhurrin, a defense compound of sorghum. They use a method involving styrene maleic acid to stabilize the membrane-bound metabolon, which they then affinity purify and characterize structurally and functionally. Through reconstitution experiments they show that the molecular composition of the lipids at the metabolon affects its efficiency. They conclude by pointing out that efforts to reconstitute metabolic pathways in heterologous systems will be enhanced by a greater understanding of metabolons and the requirements for their assembly.  Science 10.1126/science.aag2347