, Volume 187, Issue 4, pp 313-319
Date: 16 Jan 2007

Identification of three Zwittermicin A biosynthesis-related genes from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki strain YBT-1520

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Zwittermicin A (ZwA) is a novel, broad-spectrum linear aminopolyol antibiotic produced by some Bacillus cereus and Bacillus thuringiensis. However, only part of its biosynthesis cluster has been identified and characterized from B. cereus UW85. To better understand the biosynthesis cluster of ZwA, a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki strain YBT-1520, a ZwA-producing strain, was constructed. Two BAC clones, 1F8 and 5E2, were obtained by PCR, which overlap the known ZwA biosynthesis cluster of B. cereus UW85. This ZwA biosynthesis cluster is at least 38.6 kb and is located on the chromosome, instead of the plasmid. Partial DNA sequencing revealed both BAC clones carry three new ZwA biosynthesis-related genes, zwa6, zwa5A and zwa5B, which were found at the corresponding location of B. cereus UW85. Putative amino acid sequences of these genes shown that ZWA6 is homologous to a typical carbamoyltransferase from Streptomyces avermitilis, while ZWA5A and ZWA5B are homologs of cysteine synthetase and ornithine cyclodeaminase which jointly synthesize 2,3-diaminopropionate in the viomycin biosynthesis pathway, respectively. The identification of these three genes further supports the hypothesized ZwA biosynthesis pathway.