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Gene. 2005 Oct 10;359:91-8.

The biosynthetic genes for disorazoles, potent cytotoxic compounds that disrupt microtubule formation.

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Kosan Biosciences, Inc., 3832 Bay Center Place, Hayward, CA 94545, USA.


Disorazoles are polyketides produced by the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum So ce12. Their mode of action is to inhibit tubulin polymerization and destabilize microtubules. Using transposon mutagenesis, two mutant strains were identified that produced no disorazoles. Sequencing the DNA flanking the insertions revealed a polyketide synthase gene cluster that would encode three polypeptides, DszA, DszB, and DszC, with DszC containing both nonribosomal peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase modules. The disorazole polyketide synthase modules lack an acyltransferase domain. Instead, a separate gene, dszD, encodes an AT protein, thus revealing that the disorazole gene cluster falls into the trans-AT Type I family of PKS enzymes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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