disruption of cao-2 leads to changes in the carotenoid content, as indicated by the reddish color of several transformants. Mutants accumulate a high proportion of neutral carotenoids including a high content of torulene
enzyme is involved in the biosynthetic pathway to neurosporaxanthin. First step is the cleavage of 3,4-didehydrolycopene into apo-4'-lycopenal by Cao2, which is then oxidized by YLO-1 to yield apo-4'-lycopenoic acid, the last intermediate in the pathway. The final step is then catalyzed by the cyclase activity of AL-2
expression of carT in lycopene-accumulating Escherichia coli cells results in the formation of minor amounts of apocarotenoids, but no enzymatic activity is observed in beta-carotene-accumulating cells
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Cao-2 exhibits the same transcriptional pattern as Al-2, which encodes the phytoene synthase/beta-cyclase. The mRNA levels for both genes are very low in vegetative mycelia grown in the dark, and increase markedly upon illumination. Illumination does not lead to any detectable increase of the Cao-2 and Al-2 mRNA amounts in wc-1 or wc-2 mutants, confirming that Cao-2 photoinduction is mediated by the WC-1/WC-2 photoreceptor system