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Curr Genet. 2008 Sep;54(3):153-61. doi: 10.1007/s00294-008-0207-9. Epub 2008 Jul 31.

Expression of the Acremonium chrysogenum cefT gene in Penicillum chrysogenum indicates that it encodes an hydrophilic beta-lactam transporter.

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Instituto de Biotecnología de León, Avda. Real N masculine1, 24006 León, Spain.


The Acremonium chryrsogenum cefT gene encoding a membrane protein of the major facilitator superfamily implicated in the cephalosporin biosynthesis in A. chrysogenum was introduced into Penicillium chrysogenum Wisconsin 54-1255 (a benzylpenicillin producer), P. chrysogenum npe6 pyrG(-) (a derivative of Wisconsin 54-1255 lacking a functional penDE gene) and P. chrysogenum TA98 (a deacetylcephalosporin producer containing the cefD1, cefD2, cefEF and cefG genes from A. chrysogenum). RT-PCR analysis revealed that the cefT gene was expressed in P. chrysogenum strains. HPLC analysis of the culture broths of the TA98 transformants showed an increase in the secretion of deacetylcephalosporin C and hydrophilic penicillins (isopenicillin N and penicillin N). P. chrysogenum Wisconsin 54-1255 strain transformed with cefT showed increased secretion of the isopenicillin N intermediate and a drastic decrease in the benzylpenicillin production. Southern and northern blot analysis indicated that the untransformed P. chrysogenum strains contain an endogenous gene similar to cefT that may be involved in the well-known secretion of the isopenicillin N intermediate. In summary, the cefT transporter is a hydrophilic beta-lactam transporter that is involved in the secretion of hydrophilic beta-lactams containing alpha-aminoadipic acid side chain (isopenicillin N, penicillin N and deacetylcephalosporin C).

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