We have identified, cloned and sequenced three -like genes from (Sr.), the producer of the antibiotic kirromycin which inhibits protein synthesis by binding the polypeptide chain elongation factor EF-Tu. The gene encodes a protein with 71 % amino acid residues identical to the well characterized elongation factor Tu of (Ec.EF-Tu). The genetic location of downstream of a homologue and the activity of Sr. EF-Tu1 show that encodes a genuine EF-Tu. The putative Sr. EF-Tu2 and Sr.EF-Tu3 proteins are 69% and 63% identical to Ec.EF-Tu. Homologues of and were detected in all five Streptomyces strains investigated, but was found in only. The three genes were expressed in and used to produce polyclonal antibodies. Western blot analysis showed that Sr.EF-Tu1 was present at all times under kirromycin production conditions in submerged and surface-grown cultures of and in germinating spores. The expression of and was, however, below the detection level. Surprisingly, Sr.EF-Tu1 was kirromycin sensitive, which excludes the possibility that EF-Tu is involved in the kirromycin resistance of .


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