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Keywords:

  • adenylation;
  • aminocoumarin;
  • antibiotics;
  • biosynthesis;
  • rubradirin

Abstract

The biosynthesis of aminocoumarin antibiotics requires two acyladenylate-forming enzymes: one for the activation of L-tyrosine as a precursor of the aminocoumarin moiety and another for the linkage of an acyl moiety to the aminocoumarin moiety. Unexpectedly, the biosynthetic gene cluster of the aminocoumarin antibiotic rubradirin was found to contain three genes for putative acyladenylate-forming enzymes of aminocoumarin biosynthesis and conjugation. We expressed, purified, and investigated these three proteins. Orf4 (55 kDa) was shown to be an active aminocoumarin acyl ligase. RubF6 (56 kDa) was inactive, but could be converted into an active enzyme by site-directed mutagenesis. RubC1 (138 kDa) was shown to be a unique bifunctional enzyme, comprising an aminocoumarin acyl ligase, and tyrosine-adenylation and peptidyl-carrier domains. This natural hybrid enzyme is unique among known proteins. A hypothesis is proposed as to how such an enzyme could offer a particularly effective machinery for aminocoumarin antibiotic biosynthesis.