Using gene shuffling to increase genetic diversity in genes involved in beta-lactam biosynthesis

Tarr, Shahida (2001) Using gene shuffling to increase genetic diversity in genes involved in beta-lactam biosynthesis. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




The actinomycetes are gram-positive bacteria that produce more than two-thirds of the known biologically active microbial natural products, including many commercially important antibiotics, anti-cancer agents, other pharmacologically useful agents, animal health products and agrochemicals. The prevailing utilization of antibiotics continues to be the mainstay against microbial infections and a majority ofthe over six thousand antibiotics discovered thus far are from Streptomyces spp. One of the most well-characterized antibiotic biosynthetic pathway is the one involving the biosynthesis of the penicillins, cephalosporins and cephamycins. This pathway involves two initial steps which are common in filamentous fungi, lower eukaryotes and prokaryotes. The penam nucleus of penicillins and the cephem nucleus of both cephamycins andcephalosporins are formed by the condensation of the three precursor amino acids L-a-aminoadipic acid, Lcysteine and L-valine by a mechanism designated as 'non-ribosomal peptide synthesis', which involves activation and condensation of the three component amino acids and epimerization of the L- to D-valine to form a linear acyclic tripeptide called o-(L-a-aminoadipyl)-L-cysteinyl-Dvaline (ACV) by the action of a peptide synthetase. ACV is then cyclized to form isopenicillin N, an intermediate that contains an L-a-aminoadipyl side-chain attached to the penem nucleus (Fig. 1.2) by isopenicilin N synthase (IPNS or Cyclase) and this encompasses the creation of the Beta-lactam and thiazolidine rings. A broad range of ~-lactam producing Streptomyces spp were grown, the DNA extraction procedure optimised and total chromosomal DNA isolated. A bioinformatics analysis of known IPNS gene sequences allowed the synthesis of PCR primers for the iso-penicillin N synthase gene. IPNS genes and lPNS-like genes were successfully amplified from the total DNA of ten strains including two novel thermophilic strains, A. and B. Sequencing was carried out on the genes from S. hygroscopicus, S. tanashiensis and the two thermophiles A and B. This allowed development of the conditions for gene shuffiing of the IPNS gene which was carried out pairwise and resulted in the reconstitution of shuffied genes of the correct size. The resulting mixed gene sequences were cloned into the pTrcHis2-TOPO expression vector and the plasmid DNA screened and assayed for IPNS activity using HPLC which showed ten fold increase in IPNS activity as a result of the shuffiing.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Beta lactam antibiotics, Genes, Genetic diversity, Biosynthesis
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology
T Technology > TP Chemical technology > Biotechnology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Biochemistry, Microbiology & Biotechnology
Supervisors:Kirby, Ralph
ID Code:3146
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:25 Jul 2012 07:39
Last Modified:25 Jul 2012 07:39
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