Evolution of β-lactam biosynthesis genes and recruitment of trans-acting factors

Axel A. Brakhage, Qusai Al Abdallah, André Tüncher, Petra Spröte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Penicillins and cephalosporins belong chemically to the group of β-lactam antibiotics. The formation of hydrophobic penicillins has been reported in fungi only, notably Penicillium chrysogenum and Emericella nidulans, whereas the hydrophilic cephalosporins are produced by both fungi, e.g., Acremonium chrysogenum (cephalosporin C), and bacteria. The producing bacteria include Gram-negatives and Gram-positives, e.g. Lysobacter lactamdurans (cephabacins) and Streptomyces clavuligerus (cephamycin C), respectively. For a long time the evolutionary origin of β-lactam biosynthesis genes in fungi has been discussed. As often, there are arguments for both hypotheses, i.e., horizontal gene transfer from bacteria to fungi versus vertical descent. There were strong arguments in favour of horizontal gene transfer, e.g., fungal genes were clustered or some genes lack introns. The recent identification and characterisation of cis-/trans-elements involved in the regulation of the β-lactam biosynthesis genes has provided new arguments in favour of horizontal gene transfer. In contrast to the bacterium S. clavuligerus, all regulators of fungal β-lactam biosynthesis genes represent wide-domain regulators which were recruited to also regulate the β-lactam biosynthesis genes. Moreover, the fungal regulatory genes are not part of the gene cluster. If bacterial regulators were co-transferred with the gene cluster from bacteria to fungi, most likely they would have been non-functional in eukaryotes and lost during evolution. Alternatively, it is conceivable that only a part of the β-lactam biosynthesis gene cluster was transferred to some fungi, e.g., the acvA and ipnA gene without a regulatory gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200-1210
Number of pages11
JournalPhytochemistry
Volume66
Issue number11 SPEC. ISS.
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Fingerprint

lactams
Lactams
Trans-Activators
Biosynthesis
Fungi
Genes
biosynthesis
Horizontal Gene Transfer
cephalosporins
Multigene Family
fungi
Fungal Genes
Streptomyces clavuligerus
Bacteria
multigene family
genes
Cephalosporins
Regulator Genes
Gene transfer
bacteria

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

Cite this

Evolution of β-lactam biosynthesis genes and recruitment of trans-acting factors. / Brakhage, Axel A.; Al Abdallah, Qusai; Tüncher, André; Spröte, Petra.

In: Phytochemistry, Vol. 66, No. 11 SPEC. ISS., 01.01.2005, p. 1200-1210.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Brakhage, Axel A. ; Al Abdallah, Qusai ; Tüncher, André ; Spröte, Petra. / Evolution of β-lactam biosynthesis genes and recruitment of trans-acting factors. In: Phytochemistry. 2005 ; Vol. 66, No. 11 SPEC. ISS. pp. 1200-1210.
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