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J Microbiol. 2011 Jun;49(3):473-80. doi: 10.1007/s12275-011-0362-4. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Isolation and characterization of a reducing polyketide synthase gene from the lichen-forming fungus Usnea longissima.

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Korean Lichen Research Institute, Sunchon National University, Sunchon, 540-742, Republic of Korea.


The reducing polyketide synthases found in filamentous fungi are involved in the biosynthesis of many drugs and toxins. Lichens produce bioactive polyketides, but the roles of reducing polyketide synthases in lichens remain to be clearly elucidated. In this study, a reducing polyketide synthase gene (U1PKS3) was isolated and characterized from a cultured mycobiont of Usnea longissima. Complete sequence information regarding U1PKS3 (6,519 bp) was obtained by screening a fosmid genomic library. A U1PKS3 sequence analysis suggested that it contains features of a reducing fungal type I polyketide synthase with β-ketoacyl synthase (KS), acyltransferase (AT), dehydratase (DH), enoyl reductase (ER), ketoacyl reducatse (KR), and acyl carrier protein (ACP) domains. This domain structure was similar to the structure of ccRadsl, which is known to be involved in resorcylic acid lactone biosynthesis in Chaetomium chiversii. The results of phylogenetic analysis located U1PKS3 in the clade of reducing polyketide synthases. RT-PCR analysis results demonstrated that UIPKS3 had six intervening introns and that UIPKS3 expression was upregulated by glucose, sorbitol, inositol, and mannitol.

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