The large linear plasmid pSLA2-L of Streptomyces rochei has an unusually condensed gene organization for secondary metabolism



The complete nucleotide sequence of the large linear plasmid pSLA2-L in Streptomyces rochei strain 7434AN4 has been determined. pSLA2-L was found to be 210 614 bp long with a GC content of 72.8% and carries 143 open reading frames. It is especially noteworthy that three-quarters of the pSLA2-L DNA is occupied by secondary metabolism-related genes, namely two type I polyketide synthase (PKS) gene clusters for lankacidin and lankamycin, a mithramycin synthase-like type II PKS gene cluster, a carotenoid biosynthetic gene cluster and many regulatory genes. In particular, the lankacidin PKS is unique, because it may be a mixture of modular- and iterative-type PKSs and carries a fusion protein of non-ribosomal peptide synthetase and PKS. It is also interesting that all the homologues of the afsA, arpA, adpA and strR genes in the A-factor regulatory cascade in Streptomyces griseus were found on pSLA2-L, and disruption of the afsA homologue caused non-production of both lankacidin and lankamycin. These results, together with the finding of three possible replication origins at 50–63 kb from the right end, suggest that the present form of pSLA2-L might have been generated by a series of insertions of the biosynthetic gene clusters into the left side of the original plasmid.