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Microbiology. 2002 May;148(Pt 5):1427-38.

The clavulanic acid biosynthetic cluster of Streptomyces clavuligerus: genetic organization of the region upstream of the car gene.

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Area de Biotecnología, Antibióticos SA, Avenida de Antibióticos 59-61, 24009 León, Spain.


The genetic organization of the region upstream of the car gene of the clavulanic acid biosynthetic gene cluster of Streptomyces clavuligerus has been determined. Sequence analysis of a 12.1 kb region revealed the presence of 10 ORFs whose putative functions, according to database searches, are discussed. Three co-transcriptional units are proposed: ORF10-11, ORF12-13 and ORF15-16-17-18. Potential transcriptional terminators were identified downstream of ORF11 (fd) and ORF15. Targeted disruption of ORF10 (cyp) gave rise to transformants unable to produce clavulanic acid, but with a considerably higher production of cephamycin C. Transformants inactivated at ORF14 had a remarkably lower production of clavulanic acid and similar production of cephamycin C. Significant improvements of clavulanic acid production, associated with a drop in cephamycin C biosynthesis, were obtained with transformants of S. clavuligerus harbouring multiple copies of plasmids carrying different constructions from the ORF10-14 region. This information can be used to guide strain improvement programs, blending random mutagenesis and molecular cloning, to optimize the yield of clavulanic acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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