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J Org Chem. 2007 May 25;72(11):4198-204. Epub 2007 May 3.

Biosynthesis of the isoprenoid moieties of furanonaphthoquinone I and endophenazine A in Streptomyces cinnamonensis DSM 1042.

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Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Würzburg, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany.


Streptomyces cinnamonensis DSM 1042 produces the polyketide-isoprenoid compound furanonaphthoquinone I (FNQ I) and isoprenylated phenazines, predominantly endophenazine A. However, the recently identified biosynthetic gene cluster for these compounds only contains a single gene for a mevalonate pathway enzyme, that is, a putative mevalonate kinase gene. This is in strong contrast to all Streptomyces strains examined so far, where all six genes encoding the mevalonate pathway enzymes are clustered in a single operon of 6.8 kb and, thus, raised the question about the biosynthetic origin of the isoprenoid moieties of FNQ I and endophenazine A. In this study, we investigated the incorporation of [13C2]acetate and [2-13C]glycerol into FNQ I and endophenazine A. The results unequivocally prove that the isoprenoid building blocks of both compounds are predominantly formed via the mevalonate pathway (approximately 80%) but that the MEP pathway (approximately 20%) contributes to the biosynthesis of these molecules, too. In actinomycetes, this is the first experimentally proven example of the utilization of both biosynthetic routes for the formation of one single secondary metabolite. The incorporation pattern of [2-13C]glycerol was consistent with a "reverse" prenyl transfer, that is, with the formation of a C-C bond from C-3 of GPP to the polyketide nucleus of FNQ I.

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