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J Bacteriol. 2001 Nov;183(21):6454-65.

Functional analysis of genes for biosynthesis of pyocyanin and phenazine-1-carboxamide from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Agricultural Research Service, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-6430, USA.


Two seven-gene phenazine biosynthetic loci were cloned from Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. The operons, designated phzA1B1C1D1E1F1G1 and phzA2B2C2D2E2F2G2, are homologous to previously studied phenazine biosynthetic operons from Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas aureofaciens. Functional studies of phenazine-nonproducing strains of fluorescent pseudomonads indicated that each of the biosynthetic operons from P. aeruginosa is sufficient for production of a single compound, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA). Subsequent conversion of PCA to pyocyanin is mediated in P. aeruginosa by two novel phenazine-modifying genes, phzM and phzS, which encode putative phenazine-specific methyltransferase and flavin-containing monooxygenase, respectively. Expression of phzS alone in Escherichia coli or in enzymes, pyocyanin-nonproducing P. fluorescens resulted in conversion of PCA to 1-hydroxyphenazine. P. aeruginosa with insertionally inactivated phzM or phzS developed pyocyanin-deficient phenotypes. A third phenazine-modifying gene, phzH, which has a homologue in Pseudomonas chlororaphis, also was identified and was shown to control synthesis of phenazine-1-carboxamide from PCA in P. aeruginosa PAO1. Our results suggest that there is a complex pyocyanin biosynthetic pathway in P. aeruginosa consisting of two core loci responsible for synthesis of PCA and three additional genes encoding unique enzymes involved in the conversion of PCA to pyocyanin, 1-hydroxyphenazine, and phenazine-1-carboxamide.

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