Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 192, Issue 4, pp 289–297 | Cite as

S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM) and antibiotic biosynthesis: effect of external addition of SAM and of overexpression of SAM biosynthesis genes on novobiocin production in Streptomyces

  • Xin Qing Zhao
  • Bertolt Gust
  • Lutz HeideEmail author
Original Paper


The production of antibiotics in different Streptomyces strains has been reported to be stimulated by the external addition of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and by overexpression of the SAM synthetase gene metK. We investigated the influence of SAM addition, and of the expression of SAM biosynthetic genes, on the production of the aminocoumarin antibiotic novobiocin in the heterologous producer strain Streptomyces coelicolor M512 (nov-BG1). External addition of SAM did not influence novobiocin accumulation. However, overexpression of a SAM synthase gene stimulated novobiocin formation, concomitant with an increase of the intracellular SAM concentration. Streptomyces genomes contain orthologs of all genes required for the SAM cycle known from mammals. In contrast, most other bacteria use a different cycle for SAM regeneration. Three secondary metabolic gene clusters, coding for the biosynthesis of structurally very different antibiotics in different Streptomyces strains, were found to contain an operon comprising all five putative genes of the SAM cycle. We cloned one of these operons into an expression plasmid, under control of a strong constitutive promoter. However, transformation of the heterologous novobiocin producer strain with this plasmid did not stimulate novobiocin production, but rather showed a detrimental effect on cell viability in the stationary phase and strongly reduced novobiocin accumulation.


S-Adenosylmethionine (SAM) Streptomyces Novobiocin SAM synthetase (EC Adenosyl homocysteinase (EC Adenosine kinase (EC 



This work was supported by a grant from the European Commission (IP 005224 ActinoGEN). X. Q. Zhao was supported by a research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Supplementary material

203_2010_548_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (16 kb)
(ESM 15.5 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmaceutical Biology, Pharmaceutical InstituteEberhard-Karls-Universität TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.School of Life Science and BiotechnologyDalian University of TechnologyDalianPeople’s Republic of China

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