Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 2000 Feb 3;403(6769):571-5.

Alternative modular polyketide synthase expression controls macrolactone structure.

Author information

Department of Microbiology and Biological Process Technology Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


Modular polyketide synthases are giant multifunctional enzymes that catalyse the condensation of small carboxylic acids such as acetate and propionate into structurally diverse polyketides that possess a spectrum of biological activities. In a modular polyketide synthase, an enzymatic domain catalyses a specific reaction, and three to six enzymatic domains involved in a condensation-processing cycle are organized into a module. A fundamental aspect of a modular polyketide synthase is that its module arrangement linearly specifies the structure of its polyketide product. Here we report a natural example in which alternative expression of the pikromycin polyketide synthase results in the generation of two macrolactone structures. Expression of the full-length modular polyketide synthase PikAIV in Streptomyces venezuelae generates the 14-membered ring macrolactone narbonolide, whereas expression of the amino-terminal truncated form of PikAIV leads to 'skipping' of the final condensation cycle in polyketide biosynthesis to generate the 12-membered ring macrolactone 10-deoxymethynolide. Our findings provide insight into the structure and function of modular polyketide synthases, as well as a new set of tools to generate structural diversity in polyketide natural products.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center