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Nat Biotechnol. 1996 Mar;14(3):335-8.

Engineered biosynthesis of novel polyketides: properties of the whiE aromatase/cyclase.

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Institute of Biotechnology, ETH, Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


The ORFVI from the cluster of genes, which is responsible for the biosynthesis of the Streptomyces coelicolor spore pigment, the whiE cluster, has been described as a bifunctional aromatase/cyclase. In order to evaluate its potential use for generating novel polyketides, combinations of this gene with those encoding minimal polyketide synthase enzymes with or without a ketoreductase from S. coelicolor A3(2) were constructed and analyzed in vivo. Analysis of the polyketide products generated from these constructs indicates that the whiE-ORFVI enzyme has properties similar to those of TcmN, although the whiE aromatase/cyclase normally acts on a polyketide intermediate that is four carbons longer than the TcmN substrate. The whiE aromatase/cyclase can influence the regiospecificity of the first cyclization of unreduced, but not reduced, backbones and is also responsible for the second ring aromatization. An unusual new polyketide, EM18, was identified which is not seen in equivalent strains expressing the tcmN aromatase/cyclase or the act aromatase genes. The structure of EM18 suggests that the WhiE-ORFVI product might have some unique properties within this family of polyketide synthase subunits, and may therefore be useful in the design of combinatorial biosynthetic strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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