We detected biosynthetic activity for aflatoxins G1 and G2 in cell extracts of Aspergillus parasiticus NIAH-26. We found that in the presence of NADPH, aflatoxins G1 and G2 were produced from O-methylsterigmatocystin and dihydro-O-methylsterigmatocystin, respectively. No G-group aflatoxins were produced from aflatoxin B1, aflatoxin B2, 5-methoxysterigmatocystin, dimethoxysterigmatocystin, or sterigmatin, confirming that B-group aflatoxins are not the precursors of G-group aflatoxins and that G- and B-group aflatoxins are independently produced from the same substrates (O-methylsterigmatocystin and dihydro-O-methylsterigmatocystin). In competition experiments in which the cell-free system was used, formation of aflatoxin G2 from dihydro-O-methylsterigmatocystin was suppressed when O-methylsterigmatocystin was added to the reaction mixture, whereas aflatoxin G1 was newly formed. This result indicates that the same enzymes can catalyze the formation of aflatoxins G1 and G2. Inhibition of G-group aflatoxin formation by methyrapone, SKF-525A, or imidazole indicated that a cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase may be involved in the formation of G-group aflatoxins. Both the microsome fraction and a cytosol protein with a native mass of 220 kDa were necessary for the formation of G-group aflatoxins. Due to instability of the microsome fraction, G-group aflatoxin formation was less stable than B-group aflatoxin formation. The ordA gene product, which may catalyze the formation of B-group aflatoxins, also may be required for G-group aflatoxin biosynthesis. We concluded that at least three reactions, catalyzed by the ordA gene product, an unstable microsome enzyme, and a 220-kDa cytosol protein, are involved in the enzymatic formation of G-group aflatoxins from either O-methylsterigmatocystin or dihydro-O-methylsterigmatocystin
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