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Leucine improves the component of isovalerylspiramycins for the production of bitespiramycin


Bitespiramycin, a group of 4″-O-acylated spiramycins with 4″-O-isovalerylspiramycins as the major components, is produced by recombinant spiramycin-producing strain Streptomyces spiramyceticus harboring a 4″-O-acyltransferase gene from a carbomycin-producing strain S. mycarofaciens 1748. The effects of leucine feeding on the bitespiramycin fermentation, especially the synthesis of isovalerylspiramycin components, were investigated. The experiment was initially performed in flask culture under the condition of feeding 15.4 mmol/l of leucine at 72 h fermentation, and the culture without leucine feeding was used as control. When 15.4 mmol/l leucine was fed at 72 h, 51.3 ± 0.33% total isovalerylspiramycins was recorded compared to 40.9 ± 0.26% under the control condition after 96 h of fermentation. The improvement of total isovalerylspiramycin content was further achieved in 15 l fermentation when 15.4 mmol/l of leucine was supplemented from 65 to 72 h. These results indicated that isovaleryl group derived from leucine catabolism could act as the precursor of the 4″ side chain of bitespiramycin, which profoundly enhanced the synthesis of isovalerylspiramycins in the bitespiramycin complex.

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The work was supported by the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars and National Basic Research Program (973 Program No. 2007CB714303) and Shanghai Municipal Program for High Technology Research and Development (064319033). The authors also graciously acknowledge the Tonglian Group Shanghai Biotechnology Institute (China).

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Correspondence to Yong-Hong Wang or Ju Chu.

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Li, Z., Wang, Y., Chu, J. et al. Leucine improves the component of isovalerylspiramycins for the production of bitespiramycin. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 32, 641–647 (2009).

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  • Bitespiramycin
  • Leucine
  • Component
  • Isovalerylspiramycin
  • Streptomyces