The product of dpsC confers starter unit fidelity upon the daunorubicin polyketide synthase of Streptomyces sp. strain C5

Vineet B. Rajgarhia, Nigel D. Priestley, William R. Strohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The biosynthesis of daunorubicin and its precursors proceeds via the condensation of nine C-2 units derived from malonyl-CoA onto a propionyl starter moiety. The daunorubicin polyketide biosynthesis gene cluster of Streptomyces sp. strain C5 has two unique open reading frames, dpsC and dpsD, encoding, respectively, a fatty acid ketoacyl synthase (KAS) III homologue that is lacking an active-site cysteine and a proposed acyl-CoA:acyl carrier protein acyltransferase. The two genes are positioned directly downstream of dpsA and dpsB which encode the alpha and beta components of the type II KAS, respectively. Expression of the dpsABCDEFGdauGI genes in Streptomyces lividans resulted in the formation of aklanonic acid, the first stable chromophore of the daunorubicin biosynthesis pathway. Deletion of dpsC, but not dpsD, from this gene set resulted in the formation of desmethylaklanonic acid, derived from an acetyl-CoA starter unit, and aklanonic acid, derived from propionyl-CoA, in a 60:40 ratio. Thus, DpsC contributes to the selection of propionyl-CoA as the starter unit but does not alone dictate it. A dpsCD deletion mutant of Streptomyces sp. strain C5 (C5VR5) still produced daunorubicin but, more significantly, anthracycline and anthracyclinone derivatives resulting from the use of acetyl-CoA as an alternative starter moiety. Expression of dpsC, but not dpsD, in mutant C5VR5 restored the wild-type phenotype. Among the new compounds was the new biosynthesis product feudomycin D. These results suggest that in the absence of DpsC, the daunorubicin PKS complex behaves promiscuously, utilizing both acetyl-CoA (ca. 60% of the time) and propionyl-CoA (ca. 40%) as starter units. The fact that DpsC is not required for initiation with propionyl-CoA is significant, as the information must then lie in other components of the PKS complex. We propose to call DpsC the propionyl starter unit "fidelity factor".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-63
Number of pages15
JournalMetabolic Engineering
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

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