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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Jan;72(1):167-77.

Deoxysugar transfer during chromomycin A3 biosynthesis in Streptomyces griseus subsp. griseus: new derivatives with antitumor activity.

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  • 1Departamento de Biología Funcional, Area de Microbiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo, c/ Julián Clavería s/n, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.


Chromomycin A3 is an antitumor drug produced by Streptomyces griseus subsp. griseus. It consists of a tricyclic aglycone with two aliphatic side chains and two O-glycosidically linked saccharide chains, a disaccharide of 4-O-acetyl-D-oliose (sugar A) and 4-O-methyl-D-oliose (sugar B), and a trisaccharide of D-olivose (sugar C), D-olivose (sugar D), and 4-O-acetyl-L-chromose B (sugar E). The chromomycin gene cluster contains four glycosyltransferase genes (cmmGI, cmmGII, cmmGIII, and cmmGIV), which were independently inactivated through gene replacement, generating mutants C60GI, C10GII, C10GIII, and C10GIV. Mutants C10GIV and C10GIII produced the known compounds premithramycinone and premithramycin A1, respectively, indicating the involvement of CmmGIV and CmmGIII in the sequential transfer of sugars C and D and possibly also of sugar E of the trisaccharide chain, to the 12a position of the tetracyclic intermediate premithramycinone. Mutant C10GII produced two new tetracyclic compounds lacking the disaccharide chain at the 8 position, named prechromomycin A3 and prechromomycin A2. All three compounds accumulated by mutant C60GI were tricyclic and lacked sugar B of the disaccharide chain, and they were named prechromomycin A4, 4A-O-deacetyl-3A-O-acetyl-prechromomycin A4, and 3A-O-acetyl-prechromomycin A4. CmmGII and CmmGI are therefore responsible for the formation of the disaccharide chain by incorporating, in a sequential manner, two D-oliosyl residues to the 8 position of the biosynthetic intermediate prechromomycin A3. A biosynthetic pathway is proposed for the glycosylation events in chromomycin A3 biosynthesis.

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