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    Isepamicin is a weakly toxic but highly active aminoglycoside antibiotic derivative of gentamicin B. Gentamicin B is a naturally occurring minor component isolated from Micromonospora echinospora. 2'-NH2-containing gentamicin C complex is a dominant compound produced by wild-type M. echinospora; by contrast, 2'-OH-containing gentamicin B is produced as a minor component. However, the biosynthetic pathway of gentamicin B remains unclear. Considering that gentamicin B shares a unique C2' hydroxyl group with kanamycin A, we aimed to design a new biosynthetic pathway of gentamicin B by combining twelve steps of gentamicin biosynthesis and two steps of kanamycin biosynthesis. We blocked the biosynthetic pathway of byproducts and generated a strain overproducing JI-20A, which was used as a precursor of gentamicin B biosynthesis, by disrupting genK and genP. The amount of JI-20A produced in M. echinospora ∆K∆P reached 911 μg/ml, which was 14-fold higher than that of M. echinospora ∆P. The enzymes KanJ and KanK necessary to convert 2'-NH2 into 2'-OH from the kanamycin biosynthetic pathway were heterologously expressed in M. echinospora ΔKΔP to transform JI-20A into gentamicin B. The strain with kanJK under PermE* could produce 80 μg/ml of gentamicin B, which was tenfold higher than that of the wild-type strain. To enhance gentamicin B production, we employed different promoters and gene integration combinations. When a PhrdB promoter was used and kanJ and kanK were integrated in the genome through gene replacement, gentamicin B was generated as the major product with a maximum yield of 880 μg/ml. We constructed a new biosynthetic pathway of high-level gentamicin B production; in this pathway, most byproducts were removed. This method also provided novel insights into the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites via the combinatorial biosynthesis.


    Xianpu Ni, Zhenpeng Sun, Yawen Gu, Hao Cui, Huanzhang Xia. Assembly of a novel biosynthetic pathway for gentamicin B production in Micromonospora echinospora. Microbial cell factories. 2016;15:1

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    PMID: 26729212

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