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Identification of a gene cluster encoding meilingmycin biosynthesis among multiple polyketide synthase contigs isolated from Streptomyces nanchangensis NS3226


A cluster encoding genes for the biosynthesis of meilingmycin, a macrolide antibiotic structurally similar to avermectin and milbemycin α11, was identified among seven uncharacterized polyketide synthase gene clusters isolated from Streptomyces nanchangensis NS3226 by hybridization with PCR products using primers derived from the sequences of aveE, aveF and a thioesterase domain of the avermectin biosynthetic gene cluster. Introduction of a 24.1-kb deletion by targeted gene replacement resulted in a loss of meilingmycin production, confirming that the gene cluster encodes biosynthesis of this important anthelminthic antibiotic compound. A sequenced 8.6-kb fragment had aveC and aveE homologues (meiC and meiE) linked together, as in the avermectin gene cluster, but the arrangement of aveF (meiF) and the thioesterase homologues differed. The results should pave the way to producing novel insecticidal compounds by generating hybrids between the two pathways.

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We thank Prof. Sir. D. A. Hopwood, FRS for critical reading of the manuscript and many valuable comments, Prof. Ben Shen for valuable discussions. This work received support from the National Science Foundation of China, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Shanghai Municipal Council of Science and Technology. We wish to thank Prof. P.F. Leadley for the gift of erythromycin probes.

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Correspondence to Zixin Deng.

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Sun, Y., Zhou, X., Tu, G. et al. Identification of a gene cluster encoding meilingmycin biosynthesis among multiple polyketide synthase contigs isolated from Streptomyces nanchangensis NS3226. Arch Microbiol 180, 101–107 (2003).

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