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Mol Microbiol. 1999 Oct;34(1):102-11.

The A-factor regulatory cascade leading to streptomycin biosynthesis in Streptomyces griseus : identification of a target gene of the A-factor receptor.

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Department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.


In Streptomyces griseus, A-factor (2-isocapryloyl-3R-hydroxymethyl-gamma-butyrolactone) at an extremely low concentration triggers streptomycin biosynthesis and cell differentiation by binding a repressor-type receptor protein (ArpA) and dissociating it from DNA. An A-factor-responsive transcriptional activator (AdpA) able to bind the promoter of strR, a pathway-specific regulatory gene responsible for transcription of other streptomycin biosynthetic genes, was purified to homogeneity and adpA was cloned by PCR on the basis of amino acid sequences of purified AdpA. adpA encoding a 405-amino-acid protein containing a helix-turn-helix DNA-binding motif at the central region showed sequence similarity to transcriptional regulators in the AraC/XylS family. The -35 and -10 regions of the adpA promoter were found to be a target of ArpA; ArpA bound the promoter region in the absence of A-factor and exogenous addition of A-factor to the DNA-ArpA complex immediately released ArpA from the DNA. Consistent with this, S1 nuclease mapping showed that adpA was transcribed only in the presence of A-factor and strR was transcribed only in the presence of intact adpA. Furthermore, adpA disruptants produced no streptomycin and overexpression of adpA caused the wild-type S. griseus strain to produce streptomycin at an earlier growth stage in a larger amount. On the basis of these findings, we propose here a model to demonstrate how A-factor triggers streptomycin biosynthesis at a late exponential growth stage.

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