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Enzyme Microb Technol. 2012 Dec 10;51(6-7):388-95. doi: 10.1016/j.enzmictec.2012.08.008. Epub 2012 Aug 30.

Enhancement of tacrolimus productivity in Streptomyces tsukubaensis by the use of novel precursors for biosynthesis.

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Department of Drug Technology and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Medical University of Warsaw, 1 Banacha St, 02-097 Warsaw, Poland.


In this report the optimization of biosynthesis of tacrolimus, the immunosupressant widely used in transplantology and dermatology was described. The enhancement of the productivity of Streptomyces tsukubaensis strain was achieved by development of new precursors of tacrolimus biosynthesis, which should allow to reduce the costs of the process. The enrichment of the fermentation medium in pyridine-2-carboxylic acid (picolinic acid), piperidine-2-carboxylic acid (pipecolic acid), pyridine-3-carboxylic acid (nicotinic acid) or pyridine-3-carboxylic acid amide (nicotinamide) caused significant growth of the productivity of tacrolimus: 7-fold, 6-fold, 3-fold and 5-fold, respectively. The optimum concentration of the precursors in medium was 0.0025-0.005%. The investigation of the kinetics of tacrolimus biosynthesis together with the analysis of the impact of tested compounds on the culture growth and NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) concentration in S. tsukubaensis cells enables to put forward a hypothesis concerning the mechanism of action of tested culture medium additives. The compounds active as tacrolimus precursors (pipecolic and picolinic acids) are more effective than these active mainly as the growth promoters (nicotinamide and nicotinic acid). Nicotinamide and nicotinic acid--vitamin B₃ components--promote S. tsukubaensis growth most probably due to the stimulation of NAD/NADP biosynthesis.

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