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J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Sep 17;130(37):12236-7. doi: 10.1021/ja8044162. Epub 2008 Aug 21.

cis-Delta(2,3)-double bond of phoslactomycins is generated by a post-PKS tailoring enzyme.

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Department of Chemistry, Portland State University, Portland, OR 97297, USA.


The antifungal phoslactomycins (PLM A-F), produced by Streptomyces sp. HK803, are structurally unusual in that three of their four double bonds are in the cis form (Delta12,13, Delta14,15, Delta2,3). The PLM polyketide synthase (PKS) has the predicted dehydratase catalytic domain in modules 1, 2, and 5 required for establishing two of these cis double bonds (Delta12,13, Delta14,15), as well as the only trans Delta6,7 double bond. By contrast, the formation of the cis Delta2,3 in the unsaturated lactone moiety of PLMs has presented an enigma because the predicted dehydratase domain in module 7 is absent. Herein, we have demonstrated that the plmT2 gene product, with no homology to PKS dehydratase domains, is required for efficient formation of the cis Delta2,3 alkene. A series of new PLM products in which the C3 hydroxyl group is retained are made in plmT2 deletion mutants. In all of these cases, however, the hydroxyl group is esterified with malonic acid. These malonylated PLM products are converted to the corresponding cis Delta2,3 PLM products and acetic acid by a facile base-catalyzed decarboxylative elimination reaction. Complete or partial restoration of natural PLM production in a plmT2 deletion mutant can be accomplished by plasmid based expression of plmT2 or fos ORF4 (a homologous gene from the fostriecin biosynthetic gene cluster), respectively. The data indicate that dehydratase-independent pathways also function in establishment of unsaturated 6-membered lactone moieties in other PKS pathways and provide the first biosynthetic insights into the possible routes by which unusual malonylated polyketide products are generated.

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