Author(s): Kealey JT, Liu L, Santi DV, Betlach MC, Barr PJ
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Abstract The polyketides are a diverse group of natural products with great significance as human and veterinary pharmaceuticals. A significant barrier to the production of novel genetically engineered polyketides has been the lack of available heterologous expression systems for functional polyketide synthases (PKSs). Herein, we report the expression of an intact functional PKS in Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The fungal gene encoding 6-methylsalicylic acid synthase from Penicillium patulum was expressed in E. coli and S. cerevisiae and the polyketide 6-methylsalicylic acid (6-MSA) was produced. In both bacterial and yeast hosts, polyketide production required coexpression of 6-methylsalicylic acid synthase and a heterologous phosphopantetheinyl transferase that was required to convert the expressed apo-PKS to its holo form. Production of 6-MSA in E. coli was both temperature- and glycerol-dependent and levels of production were lower than those of P. patulum, the native host. In yeast, however, 6-MSA levels greater than 2-fold higher than the native host were observed. The heterologous expression systems described will facilitate the manipulation of PKS genes and consequent production of novel engineered polyketides and polyketide libraries.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology