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

Effect of phosphate and amino acids on echinomycin biosynthesis by Streptomyces echinatus.

Streptomyces echinatus produces only echinomycin (quinomycin A), in contrast to other streptomycetes, which produce families of quinoxaline antibiotics differing in the amino acid composition of the oligopeptide (quinomycins A, B, B0, C, D, and E) or the structure of the sulfur-containing cross bridge (triostins A, B, and C). Attempts were made to establish conditions for directed biosynthesis with S. echinatus. The lability of the peptide lactone to alkaline pH was obviated by using high levels of phosphate or HEPES [4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethane-sulfonic acid] buffer in the production medium. Maintaining the pH below 7.5 resulted in an apparent stimulation of production. Amino acids which serve as structural components or as precursors of echinomycin were employed singly or in combination with nitrate in a chemically defined medium. Based on specific yield (micrograms of echinomycin per milligram of mycelia [dry weight]), D- and L-serine, D-alanine, L-valine, and L-phenylalanine produced equivalent yields of antibiotic which were approximately twofold greater than yields obtained with nitrate alone. In contrast, L-alanine, beta-alanine, and L-threonine produced a three- to fourfold stimulation of production. Although the other amino acids diminished antibiotic production, L-isoleucine, which ostensibly was inhibitory to production, supported the accumulation of a quinoxaline antibiotic in which the cross-bridge sulfur lacked a methyl group.[1]


  1. Effect of phosphate and amino acids on echinomycin biosynthesis by Streptomyces echinatus. Formica, J.V., Waring, M.J. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (1983) [Pubmed]
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