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J Bacteriol. 1990 Jun;172(6):3427-34.

Cloning and expression of daunorubicin biosynthesis genes from Streptomyces peucetius and S. peucetius subsp. caesius.

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  • 1Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


Genes for the biosynthesis of daunorubicin (daunomycin) and doxorubicin (adriamycin), important antitumor drugs, were cloned from Streptomyces peucetius (the daunorubicin producer) and S. peucetius subsp. caesius (the doxorubicin producer) by use of the actI/tcmIa and actIII polyketide synthase gene probes. Restriction mapping and Southern analysis of the DNA cloned in a cosmid vector established that the DNA represented three nonoverlapping regions of the S. peucetius subsp. caesius genome. These three regions plus an additional one that hybridized to the same probes are present in the S. peucetius genome, as reported previously (K. J. Stutzman-Engwall and C. R. Hutchinson, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 86:3135-3139, 1989). Functional analysis of representative clones from some of these regions in S. lividans, S. peucetius ATCC 29050, S. peucetius subsp. caesius ATCC 27952, and two of its blocked mutants (strains H6101 and H6125) showed that many of the antibiotic production genes reside in the region of DNA represented by the group IV clones. This conclusion is based on the production of epsilon-rhodomycinone, a key intermediate of the daunorubicin pathway, in certain S. lividans transformants and on the apparent complementation of mutations that block daunorubicin biosynthesis in strains H6101 and H6125. Some of the transformants of strains 29050, 27952, and H6125 exhibited substantial overproduction of epsilon-rhodomycinone and daunorubicin.

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