Key words Nikkomycin
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Six genes (nikA, nikB, nikD, nikE, nikF, and nikG) from Streptomyces tendae Tü901 were identified by sequencing the region surrounding the nikC gene, which encodes L-lysine 2-aminotransferase, previously shown to catalyze the initial reaction in the biosynthesis of hydroxypyridylhomothreonine, the peptidyl moiety of the peptidyl nucleoside antibiotic nikkomycin. These genes, together with the nikC gene, span a DNA region of 7.87 kb and are transcribed as a polycistronic mRNA in a growth-phase–dependent manner. The sequences of the deduced proteins NikA and NikB exhibit significant similarity to those of acetaldehyde dehydrogenases and 4-hydroxy-2-oxovalerate aldolases, respectively, which are involved in meta-cleavage degradation of aromatic hydrocarbons. The predicted NikD gene product shows sequence similarity to monomeric sarcosine oxidases, and the deduced NikE protein belongs to the superfamily of adenylate-forming enzymes. The nikF gene and the nikG gene encode a cytochrome P450 monooxygenase and a ferredoxin, respectively. Disruption of any of the genes nikA, nikB, nikD, nikE and nikF by insertion of a kanamycin resistance cassette abolished formation of the biologically active nikkomycins I, J, X, and Z. The nikA, nikB, nikD, and nikE mutants accumulated the nucleoside moieties nikkomycins Cx and Cz. In the nikD and nikE mutants nikkomycin production (nikkomycins I, J, X, Z) could be restored by feeding with picolinic acid and hydroxypyridylhomothreonine, respectively. The nikF mutant exclusively produced novel derivatives, nikkomycins Lx and Lz, which contain pyridylhomothreonine as the peptidyl moiety. Our results indicate that the nikA, nikB, nikD, nikE, nikF, and nikG genes, in addition to nikC, function in the biosynthetic pathway leading to hydroxypyridylhomothreonine; the putative activities of each of their products are discussed.
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