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Insights in the glycosylation steps during biosynthesis of the antitumor anthracycline cosmomycin: characterization of two glycosyltransferase genes


Glycosylation pattern in cosmomycins is a distinctive feature among anthracyclines. These antitumor compounds possess two trisaccharide chains attached at C-7 and C-10, each of them with structural variability, mainly at the distal deoxysugar moieties. We have characterized a 14-kb chromosomal region from Streptomyces olindensis containing 13 genes involved in cosmomycin biosynthesis. Two of the genes, cosG and cosK, coding for glycosyltransferase were inactivated with the generation of five new derivatives. Structural elucidation of these compounds showed altered glycosylation patterns indicating the capability of both glycosyltransferases of transferring deoxysugars to both sides of the aglycone and the flexibility of CosK with respect to the deoxysugar donor. A model is proposed for the glycosylation steps during cosmomycins biosynthesis.

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The authors thank specially collaborations of Drs. Arthur Gruber, Alda Madeira, Gilson P. Manfio, Valéria M. de Oliveira, and Hernando Del Portillo for the sequencing of the DNA, and the technical support of Dr. Fabiana Fantinatti-Garboggini, Dr. Emilio Fernando Merino, Karen Christina M. Simioni, and Daniele B. de Souza. This work was supported by grants from FAPESP to L.M.G. (00/07288-0) and to G.P. (03/00135-1), from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science to L.M.G, R.L.A.F and C.M. (BMC2002-03599), and from the US National Institutes of Health (CA 091901 and CA 102102) to J.R. We thank Obra Social Cajastur for financial support to F.L.

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Correspondence to Gabriel Padilla.

Electronic supplementary material

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Supplement 1

1H NMR data of compounds 1-5; 400 MHz; δ in ppm relative to TMS, multiplicity (J in Hz)*

Supplement 2

3C-NMR Data (100.4 MHz)

Supplement 3

HPLC analysis of ethyl acetate extracts from cultures of S. olindensis ΔcosK (a) and of S. olindensis ΔcosG (b). Numbers indicate peaks corresponding to the isolated products

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Garrido, L.M., Lombó, F., Baig, I. et al. Insights in the glycosylation steps during biosynthesis of the antitumor anthracycline cosmomycin: characterization of two glycosyltransferase genes. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 73, 122–131 (2006).

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  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography
  • cosB
  • Cosmid Library
  • Glycosyltransferase Gene
  • Preparative High Performance Liquid Chromatography