afsQ1-Q2-sigQ is a pleiotropic but conditionally required signal transduction system for both secondary metabolism and morphological development in Streptomyces coelicolor

  • Dan Shu
  • Lei Chen
  • Weihua Wang
  • Zhenyu Yu
  • Cong Ren
  • Weiwen Zhang
  • Sheng Yang
  • Yinhua LuEmail author
  • Weihong JiangEmail author
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


Two-component system AfsQ1-Q2 of Streptomyces coelicolor was identified previously for its ability to stimulate actinorhodin (ACT) and undecylprodigiosin (RED) production in Streptomyces lividans. However, disruption of either afsQ1 or afsQ2 in S. coelicolor led to no detectable changes in secondary metabolite formation or morphogenesis. In this study, we reported that, when cultivated on defined minimal medium (MM) with glutamate as the sole nitrogen source, the afsQ mutant exhibited significantly decreased ACT, RED, and calcium-dependent antibiotic (CDA) production and rapid growth of aerial mycelium. In addition, we also found that deletion of sigQ, which is located upstream of afsQ1-Q2 and encodes a putative sigma factor, led to the precocious hyperproduction of these antibiotics and delayed formation of sporulating aerial mycelium in the same glutamate-based defined MM. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and egfp fusion analyses showed that the expression of sigQ was under control by afsQ. In addition, deletion of both afsQ-sigQ resulted in the phenotype identical to that of afsQ mutant. The results suggested that afsQ1-Q2 and sigQ worked together in the regulation of both antibiotic biosynthesis and morphological development, and sigQ might be responsible for antagonizing the function of AfsQ1-Q2 in S. coelicolor, however, in a medium-dependent manner. Moreover, the study showed that the medium-dependent regulation of antibiotic biosynthesis by AfsQ1-Q2-SigQ was through pathway-specific activator genes actII-ORF4, redD, and cdaR. The study provides new insights on regulation of antibiotic biosynthesis and morphological development in S. coelicolor.


Morphological differentiation Sigma factor Secondary metabolism Streptomyces coelicolor Two-component system 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30770023, 30700022), the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KSCX2-YW-G-007), and the National Basic Research Program of China (2007CB707803).

Supplementary material

253_2008_1738_MOESM1_ESM.doc (40 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 Primers used in the construction of deletion mutants and gene overexpression in this study (DOC 40 kb)
253_2008_1738_MOESM2_ESM.doc (43 kb)
Supplementary Table 2 List of primers used in RT-PCR analysis (DOC 44 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Shu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lei Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Weihua Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhenyu Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cong Ren
    • 1
    • 2
  • Weiwen Zhang
    • 3
  • Sheng Yang
    • 1
  • Yinhua Lu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Weihong Jiang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Center for Ecogenomics, Biodesign InstituteArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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