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Chem Biol. 2013 Apr 18;20(4):510-20. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2013.03.007.

Biosynthetic conclusions from the functional dissection of oxygenases for biosynthesis of actinorhodin and related Streptomyces antibiotics.

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Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Musashino University, Shinmachi, Nishitokyo-shi, Tokyo 202-8585, Japan.


Actinorhodin (ACT) produced by Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) belongs to the benzoisochromanequinone (BIQ) class of antibiotics. ActVA-ORF5, a flavin-dependent monooxygenase (FMO) essential for ACT biosynthesis, forms a two-component enzyme system in combination with a flavin:NADH oxidoreductase, ActVB. The genes for homologous two-component FMOs are found in the biosynthetic gene clusters for two other BIQs, granaticin (GRA) and medermycin (MED), and a closely related antibiotic, alnumycin (ALN). Our functional analysis of these FMOs (ActVA-ORF5, Gra-ORF21, Med-ORF7, and AlnT) in S. coelicolor unambiguously demonstrated that ActVA-ORF5 and Gra-ORF21 are bifunctional and capable of both p-quinone formation at C-6 in the central ring and C-8 hydroxylation in the lateral ring, whereas Med-ORF7 catalyzes only p-quinone formation. No p-quinone formation on a BIQ substrate was observed for AlnT, which is involved in lateral p-quinone formation in ALN.

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