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Mol Gen Genet. 1991 Sep;228(3):372-80.

Transcriptional organization and regulation of an antibiotic export complex in the producing Streptomyces culture.

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John Innes Institute, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.


Three open reading frames (ORFs) in the actII region of the actinorhodin biosynthetic gene cluster of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), which are involved in the export of the antibiotic are carried on two divergent transcripts. A monocistronic transcript carries actII-ORF1, encoding a putative repressor protein, and a bicistronic transcript codes for actII-ORF2 and -ORF3, whose products have been postulated to form an antibiotic export complex. The actII-ORF1 and actII-ORF2/3 transcripts each have a single promoter and the promoters for the two transcripts overlap. Both promoters are most active in cultures that have developed to the stage of actinorhodin production. The promoters resemble consensus promoters of the vegetative class in Escherichia coli and Streptomyces. We also demonstrate that these promoters are expressed in E. coli and use this finding to reveal a regulatory role for the repressor, using the xylE reporter gene on promoter-probe shuttle vectors and regulated expression of the actII-ORF1 gene under control of Plac. The actII-ORF2/3 promoter is strongly repressed by the ORF1 product and the ORF1 product also represses its own promoter. The finding that the operator/promoter arrangement, and regulatory interconnection, of an antibiotic export/repressor gene pair in Streptomyces strikingly resemble those for tetracycline resistance in bacteria of clinical importance supports the hypothesis of an evolutionary origin of such genes in an ancestral actinomycete.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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