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Biochemistry. 1998 Oct 20;37(42):14937-42.

Characterization of the macrolide P-450 hydroxylase from Streptomyces venezuelae which converts narbomycin to picromycin.

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KOSAN Biosciences, Inc., Burlingame, California 94010, USA.


The post-polyketide synthase (PKS) biosynthetic tailoring of macrolide antibiotics usually involves one or more oxidation reactions catalyzed by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases. As the specificities of members from this class of enzymes vary significantly among PKS gene clusters, the identification and study of new macrolide P450s are important to the growing field of combinatorial biosynthesis. We have isolated the cytochrome P450 gene picK from Streptomyces venezuelae which is responsible for the C-12 hydroxylation of narbomycin to picromycin. The gene was located by searching regions proximal to modular PKS genes with a probe for macrolide P450 monooxygenases. The overproduction of PicK with a C-terminal six-His affinity tag (PicK/6-His) in Escherichia coli aided the purification of the enzyme for kinetic analysis. PicK/6-His was shown to catalyze the in vitro C-12 hydroxylation of narbomycin with a kcat of 1.4 s-1, which is similar to the value reported for the related C-12 hydroxylation of erythromycin D by the EryK hydroxylase. The unique specificity of this enzyme should be useful for the modification of novel macrolide substrates similar to narbomycin, in particular, ketolides, a promising class of semisynthetic macrolides with activity against erythromycin-resistant pathogens.

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