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J Bacteriol. 2002 Feb;184(3):794-805.

Regulation of the Streptomyces coelicolor calcium-dependent antibiotic by absA, encoding a cluster-linked two-component system.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


The Streptomyces coelicolor absA two-component system was initially identified through analysis of mutations in the sensor kinase absA1 that caused inhibition of all four antibiotics synthesized by this strain. Previous genetic analysis had suggested that the phosphorylated form of AbsA2 acted as a negative regulator of antibiotic biosynthesis in S. coelicolor (T. B. Anderson, P. Brian, and W. C. Champness, Mol. Microbiol. 39:553-566, 2001). Genomic sequence data subsequently provided by the Sanger Centre (Cambridge, United Kingdom) revealed that absA was located within the gene cluster for production of one of the four antibiotics, calcium-dependent antibiotic (CDA). In this paper we have identified numerous transcriptional start sites within the CDA cluster and have shown that the original antibiotic-negative mutants used to identify absA exhibit a stronger negative regulation of promoters upstream of the proposed CDA biosynthetic genes than of promoters in the clusters responsible for production of actinorhodin and undecylprodigiosin. The same antibiotic-negative mutants also showed an increase in transcription from a promoter divergent to that of absA, upstream of a putative ABC transporter, in addition to an increase in transcription of absA itself. Interestingly, the negative regulation of the biosynthetic transcripts did not appear to be mediated by transcriptional regulation of cdaR (a gene encoding a homolog of the pathway-specific regulators of the act and red clusters) or by any other recognizable transcriptional regulator associated with the cluster. The role of absA in regulating the expression of the diverse antibiotic biosynthesis clusters in the genome is discussed in light of its location in the cda cluster.

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