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Mol Microbiol. 1989 Oct;3(10):1405-14.

Molecular characterization of a gene from Saccharopolyspora erythraea (Streptomyces erythraeus) which is involved in erythromycin biosynthesis.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, UK.


A 7.3 kbp DNA fragment, encompassing the erythromycin (Em) resistance gene (ermE) and a portion of the gene cluster encoding the biosynthetic genes for erythromycin biosynthesis in Saccharopolyspora erythraea (formerly Streptomyces erythraeus) has been cloned in Streptomyces lividans using the plasmid vector pIJ702, and its nucleotide sequence has been determined using a modified dideoxy chain-termination procedure. In particular, we have examined the region immediately 5' of the resistance determinant, where the tandem promoters for ermE overlap the promoters for a divergently transcribed coding sequence (ORF). Disruption of this ORF using an integrational pIJ702-based plasmid vector gave mutants which were specifically blocked in erythromycin biosynthesis, and which accumulated 3-O-alpha-L-mycarosylerythronolide B: this behaviour is identical to that of previously described eryC1 mutants. The eryC1-gene product, a protein of subunit Mr 39,200, is therefore involved either as a structural or as a regulatory gene in the formation of the deoxyamino-sugar desosamine or in its attachment to the macrolide ring.

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