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J Bacteriol. 1992 Jan;174(1):144-54.

Regulation of secondary metabolism in Streptomyces spp. and overproduction of daunorubicin in Streptomyces peucetius.

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School of Pharmacy, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


Two DNA segments, dnrR1 and dnrR2, from the Streptomyces peucetius ATCC 29050 genome were identified by their ability to stimulate secondary metabolite production and resistance. When introduced into the wild-type ATCC 29050 strain, the 2.0-kb dnrR1 segment caused a 10-fold overproduction of epsilon-rhodomycinone, a key intermediate of daunorubicin biosynthesis, whereas the 1.9-kb dnrR2 segment increased production of both epsilon-rhodomycinone and daunorubicin 10- and 2-fold, respectively. In addition, the dnrR2 segment restored high-level daunorubicin resistance to strain H6101, a daunorubicin-sensitive mutant of S. peucetius subsp. caesius ATCC 27952. Analysis of the sequence of the dnrR1 fragment revealed the presence of two closely situated open reading frames, dnrI and dnrJ, whose deduced products exhibit high similarity to the products of several other Streptomyces genes that have been implicated in the regulation of secondary metabolism. Insertional inactivation of dnrI in the ATCC 29050 strain with the Tn5 kanamycin resistance gene abolished epsilon-rhodomycinone and daunorubicin production and markedly decreased resistance to daunorubicin. Sequence comparison between the products of dnrIJ and the products of the Streptomyces coelicolor actII-orf4, afsR, and redD-orf1 genes and of the Streptomyces griseus strS, the Saccharopolyspora erythraea eryC1, and the Bacillus stearothermophilus degT genes reveals two families of putative regulatory genes. The members of the DegT, DnrJ, EryC1, and StrS family exhibit some of the features characteristic of the protein kinase (sensor) component of two-component regulatory systems from other bacteria (even though none of the sequences of these four proteins show a significant overall or regional similarity to such protein kinases) and have a consensus helix-turn-helix motif typical of DNA binding proteins. A helix-turn-helix motif is also present in two of the proteins of the other family, AfsR and RedD-Orf1. Both sets of Streptomyces proteins are likely to be trans-acting factors involved in regulating secondary metabolism.

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