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J Bacteriol. 1995 Mar;177(5):1202-7.

Heterologous expression of an engineered biosynthetic pathway: functional dissection of type II polyketide synthase components in Streptomyces species.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108.


Polyketides are an extensive class of secondary metabolites with diverse molecular structures and biological activities. A plasmid-based multicomponent polyketide synthase expression cassette was constructed using a subset of actinorhodin (act) biosynthetic genes (actI-orf1, actI-orf2, actI-orf3, actIII, actVII, and actIV) from Streptomyces coelicolor which specify the construction of the anthraquinone product aloesaponarin II, a molecule derived from acetyl coenzyme A and 7 malonyl coenzyme A extender units. This system was designed as an indicator pathway in Streptomyces parvulus to quantify polyketide product formation and to examine the functional significance of specific polyketide synthase components, including the act beta-ketoacyl synthase (beta-KS; encoded by actI-orf1 and actI-orf2) and the act cyclase/dehydrase (encoded by actVII-orf4). Site-directed mutagenesis of the putative active site Cys (to a Gln) in the actI-orf1 beta-KS product completely abrogated aloesaponarin II production. Changing the putative acyltransferase active-site Ser (to a Leu) located in the actI-orf1 beta-KS product led to significantly reduced but continued production of aloesaponarin II. Replacement of the expression cassette with one containing a mutant form of actI-orf2 gave no production of aloesaponarin II or any other detectable polyketide products. However, an expression cassette containing a mutant form of actVII-orf4 gave primarily mutactin with low-level production of aloesaponarin II.

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