Penicillins and cephalosporins are beta-lactam antibiotics. The formation of hydrophobic penicillins has been reported in fungi only, notably Penicillium chrysogenum and Aspergillus (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., Streptomyces clavuligerus (cephamycin C) and Lysobacter lactamgenus (cephabacins), respectively. The evolutionary origin of beta-lactam biosynthesis genes has been the subject of discussion for many years, and two main hypotheses have been proposed: (i) horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria to fungi or (ii) vertical decent. There are strong arguments in favour of HGT, e.g., unlike most other fungal genes, beta-lactam biosynthesis genes are clustered and some of these genes lack introns. In contrast to S. clavuligerus, all regulators of fungal beta-lactam biosynthesis genes represent wide-domain regulators that 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. Recently, the penicillin biosynthesis gene aatB was discovered, which is not part of the penicillin biosynthesis gene cluster and is even located on a different chromosome. The aatB gene is regulated by the same regulators AnCF and AnBH1 as the penicillin biosynthesis gene aatA (penDE). Data suggest that aatA and aatB are paralogues derived by duplication of a common ancestor gene. This data supports a model in which part of the beta-lactam biosynthesis gene cluster was transferred to some fungi, i.e., the acvA and ipnA gene without a regulatory gene. We propose that during the assembly of aatA and acvA-ipnA into a single gene cluster, recruitment of transcriptional regulators occurred along with acquisition of the duplicated aatA ancestor gene and its cis-acting sites.
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Regulation of cephamycin C synthesis, aspartokinase, dihydrodipicolinic acid synthetase, and homoserine dehydrogenase by aspartic acid family amino acids in Streptomyces clavuligerus.
The Enzymes of beta-lactam Biosynthesis
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Overall, there are a total of three main and important steps to the biosynthesis of (benzylpenicillin). The first step in the biosynthesis of penicillin G is the condensation of three amino acids -α-aminoadipic acid, -cysteine, -valine into a .Before condensing into a tripeptide, the amino acid L-valine will undergo epimerization and become D-valine. After the condensation, the tripeptide is named δ-(L-α-aminoadipyl)-L-cysteine-D-valine which is also known as ACV. While this reaction occurs, we need to add in a required catalytic enzyme ACVS which is also known as δ-(L-α-aminoadipyl)-L-cysteine-D-valine synthetase. This catalytic enzyme ACVs is required for the activation of the three amino acids before condensation and the epimerization of transforming L-valine to D-valine. The second step in the biosynthesis of penicillin G is to use an enzyme to change ACV into isopenicillin N. The enzyme is isopenicillin N synthase with the gene pcbC enclosed. The tripeptide on the ACV will then undergo oxidation which then allows a ring closure so that a bicyclic ring is formed. Isopenicillin N is a very weak intermediate because it does not show much antibiotic activity. The Last step in the biosynthesis of penicillin G is the exchange the side chain group so that isopenicillin N will become penicillin G. Through the catalytic coenzyme isopenicillin N acyltransferase (IAT), the alpha-aminoadipyl side chain of isopenicillin N is removed and exchanged for a phenylacetyl side chain. This reaction is encoded by the gene penDE which is unique in the process of obtaining penicillins.