Streptomyces leeuwenhoekii, isolated from the hyperarid Atacama Desert, produces the new ansamycin-like compounds chaxamycins A to D, which possess potent antibacterial activity and moderate antiproliferative activity. We report the development of genetic tools to manipulate S. leeuwenhoekii and the identification and partial characterization of the 80.2-kb chaxamycin biosynthesis gene cluster, which was achieved by both mutational analysis in the natural producer and heterologous expression in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) strain M1152. Restoration of chaxamycin production in a nonproducing ?cxmK mutant (cxmK encodes 3-amino-5-hydroxybenzoic acid [AHBA] synthase) was achieved by supplementing the growth medium with AHBA, suggesting that mutasynthesis may be a viable approach for the generation of novel chaxamycin derivatives. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Journal: Applied and environmental microbiology