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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Heterologous expression of epothilone biosynthetic genes in Myxococcus xanthus.

Epothilones are potential anticancer drugs that stabilize microtubules in a manner similar to paclitaxel (Taxol). Epothilones are produced from the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum, which has a 16-h doubling time and produces only milligram-per-liter amounts of epothilone A and epothilone B. Furthermore, genetic manipulation of S. cellulosum is difficult. To produce epothilones in a more genetically amenable and rapidly growing host, we chose the closely related and best-characterized myxobacteria Myxococcus xanthus. We inserted 65.4 kb of S. cellulosum DNA that encompassed the entire epothilone gene cluster into the chromosome of M. xanthus by a series of homologous recombination events. The resulting strain produced epothilones A and B. Construction of a strain that contained a mutation in epoK, the P450 epoxidase, resulted in production of epothilones C and D.[1]


  1. Heterologous expression of epothilone biosynthetic genes in Myxococcus xanthus. Julien, B., Shah, S. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (2002) [Pubmed]
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