1887

Abstract

Modular polyketide synthases (PKSs) are a large family of multifunctional enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of numerous bacterial natural products such as erythromycin and rifamycin. Advanced genetic analysis of these remarkable systems is often seriously hampered by the large size (>40 kb) of PKS gene clusters, and, notwithstanding their considerable fundamental and biotechnological significance, by the lack of suitable methods for engineering non-selectable modifications in chromosomally encoded PKS genes. The development of a facile host–vector strategy for genetic engineering of the rifamycin PKS in the producing organism, S699, is described here. The genes encoding all 10 modules of the rifamycin PKS were replaced with a hygromycin-resistance marker gene. In a similar construction, only the first six modules of the PKS were replaced. The deletion hosts retained the ability to synthesize the primer unit 3-amino-5-hydroxybenzoic acid (AHBA), as judged by co-synthesis experiments with a mutant strain lacking AHBA synthase activity. Suicide plasmids carrying a short fragment from the 5′ flanking end of the engineered deletion, an apramycin-resistance marker gene, and suitably engineered PKS genes could be introduced via electroporation into the deletion hosts, resulting in the integration of PKS genes and biosynthesis of a reporter polyketide in quantities comparable to those produced by the wild-type organism. Since this strategy for engineering recombinant PKSs in requires only a selectable single crossover and eliminates the need for tedious non-selectable double-crossover experiments, it makes rifamycin PKS an attractive target for extensive genetic manipulation.

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1999-09-01
2020-09-25
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