Prenylated natural products often have interesting biological and pharmacological activities clearly distinct from their nonprenylated precursors. Prenyltransferases are responsible for the attachment of prenyl moieties to a number of acceptors and contribute significantly to structural and biological diversity of these compounds in nature. In the past 8 years, significant progress has been achieved in the molecular biological, biochemical, and structural biological investigation of the prenyltransferases of the dimethylallyltryptophan synthase (DMATS) superfamily. These soluble enzymes are involved in the biosynthesis of fungal secondary metabolites and mainly catalyze prenylation of diverse indole derivatives, including tryptophan and tryptophan-containing cyclic dipeptides. The members of the DMATS superfamily show promising flexibility toward their aromatic substrates and catalyze highly regio- and stereoselective prenyltransfer reactions. These features were successfully used for chemoenzymatic synthesis, not only for production of prenylated simple indoles and cyclic dipeptides but also for prenylated hydroxynaphthalenes and flavonoids, which are usually found in bacteria and plants, respectively.
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