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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007 Aug;76(1):169-82. Epub 2007 May 22.

In vivo transport of the intermediates of the penicillin biosynthetic pathway in tailored strains of Penicillium chrysogenum.

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  • 1Instituto de Biotecnología (INBIOTEC), Parque Científico de León, Av. Real, 1, 24006, León, Spain.


Penicillium chrysogenum npe10 (Deltapen; lacking the 56.8-kbp amplified region containing the penicillin gene cluster), complemented with one, two, or three penicillin biosynthetic genes, was used for in vivo studies on transport of benzylpenicillin intermediates. 6-Aminopenicillanic acid (6-APA) was taken up efficiently by P. chrysogenum npe10 unlike exogenous delta(L: -alpha-aminoadipyl)-L: -cysteinyl-D: -valine or isopenicillin N (IPN), which were not taken up or were taken up very poorly. Internalization of exogenous IPN and 6-APA inside peroxisomes was tested by quantifying their peroximal conversion into benzylpenicillin in strains containing only the penDE gene. Exogenous 6-APA was transformed efficiently into benzylpenicillin, whereas IPN was converted very poorly into benzylpenicillin due to its weak uptake. IPN was secreted to the culture medium. IPN secretion decreased when increasing levels of phenylacetic acid were added to the culture medium. The P. chrysogenum membrane permeability to exogenous benzylpenicillin was tested in the npe10 strain. Penicillin is absorbed by the cells by an unknown mechanism, but its intracellular concentration is kept low.

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