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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Oct 12;96(21):11740-5.

A multiplasmid approach to preparing large libraries of polyketides.

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Kosan Biosciences, 3832 Bay Center Place, Hayward, CA 94545, USA.


A three-plasmid system for heterologous expression of 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase (DEBS) has been developed to facilitate combinatorial biosynthesis of polyketides made by type I modular polyketide synthases (PKSs). The eryA PKS genes encoding the three DEBS subunits were individually cloned into three compatible Streptomyces vectors carrying mutually selectable antibiotic resistance markers. A strain of Streptomyces lividans transformed with all three plasmids produced 6-deoxyerythronolide B at a level similar to that of a strain transformed with a single plasmid containing all three genes. The utility of this system in combinatorial biosynthesis was demonstrated through production of a library of modified polyketide macrolactones by using versions of each plasmid constructed to contain defined mutations. Combinations of these vector sets were introduced into S. lividans, resulting in strains producing a wide range of 6-deoxyerythronolide B analogs. This method can be extended to any modular PKS and has the potential to produce thousands of novel natural products, including ones derived from further modification of the PKS products by tailoring enzymes.

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