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J Biotechnol. 2006 Jan 24;121(2):174-91. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

Identification and analysis of the chivosazol biosynthetic gene cluster from the myxobacterial model strain Sorangium cellulosum So ce56.

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Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Saarland University, P.O. Box 151150, D-66041 Saarbrücken, Germany.


Myxobacteria belonging to the genus Sorangium are known to produce a variety of biologically active secondary metabolites. Chivosazol is a macrocyclic antibiotic active against yeast, filamentous fungi and especially against mammalian cells. The compound specifically destroys the actin skeleton of eucaryotic cells and does not show activity against bacteria. Chivosazol contains an oxazole ring and a glycosidically bound 6-deoxyglucose (except for chivosazol F). In this paper we describe the biosynthetic gene cluster that directs chivosazol biosynthesis in the model strain Sorangium cellulosum So ce56. This biosynthetic gene cluster spans 92 kbp on the chromosome and contains four polyketide synthase genes and one hybrid polyketide synthase/nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene. An additional gene encoding a protein with similarity to different methyltransferases and presumably involved in post-polyketide modification was identified downstream of the core biosynthetic gene cluster. The chivosazol biosynthetic gene locus belongs to the recently identified and rapidly growing class of trans-acyltransferase polyketide synthases, which do not contain acyltransferase domains integrated into the multimodular megasynthetases.

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