A cytochrome P450 from juvenile mustard leaf beetles hydroxylates geraniol, a key step in iridoid biosynthesis
Juveniles of the leaf beetle Phaedon cochleariae synthesize iridoid via the mevalonate pathway to repel predators. The normal terpenoid biosynthesis is integrated into the dedicated defensive pathway by the ω-hydroxylation of geraniol to 8-hydroxygeraniol. Here we identify and characterize the geraniol 8-hydroxylase as a P450 monooxygenase using integrated transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. In the fat body, 73 individual cytochrome P450s were identified. The double stranded RNA (dsRNA)-mediated knock down of CYP6BH5 led to a significant reduction of 8-hydroxygeraniol-glucoside in the hemolymph and, later, of the chrysomelidial in the defensive secretion. Heterologously expressed CYP6BH5 converted geraniol to 8-hydroxygeraniol. In addition to geraniol, CYP6BH5 also catalyzes other monoterpenols, such as nerol and citronellol, into the corresponding α, ω-dihydroxy compounds.
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