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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 May;41(5):879-86.

A novel regio‑specific cyclosporin hydroxylase gene revealed through the genome mining of Pseudonocardia autotrophica.


The regio-specific hydroxylation at the 4th N-methyl leucine of the immunosuppressive agent cyclosporin A (CsA) was previously proposed to be mediated by a unique cytochrome P450 hydroxylase (CYP), CYP-sb21 from the rare actinomycetes Sebekia benihana. Interestingly, a different rare actinomycetes species, Pseudonocardia autotrophica, was found to possess a different regio-selectivity, the preferential hydroxylation at the 9th N-methyl leucine of CsA. Through an in silico analysis of the whole genome of P. autotrophica, we describe here the classification of 31 total CYPs in P. autotrophica. Three putative CsA CYP genes, showing the highest sequence homologies with CYPsb21, were successfully inactivated using PCR-targeted gene disruption. Only one knock-out mutant, ΔCYP-pa1, failed to convert CsA to its hydroxylated forms. The hydroxylation activity of CsA by CYP-pa1 was confirmed by CYP-pa1 gene complementation as well as heterologous expression in the CsA non-hydroxylating Streptomyces coelicolor. Moreover, the cyclosporine regio-selectivity of CYP-pa1 expressed in the ΔCYP-sb21 S. benihana mutant strain was also confirmed unchanged through cross complementation. These results show that preferential regio-specific hydroxylation at the 9th N-methyl leucine of CsA is carried out by a specific P450 hydroxylase gene in P. autotrophica, CYP-pa1, setting the stage for the biotechnological application of CsA regioselective hydroxylation.

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