Genetic and Biochemical Characterization of Halogenation and Drug Transportation Genes Encoded in the Albofungin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster

Zhe Chong Wang, I. Wen Lo, Kuan Hung Lin, An Ning Cheng, Saeid Malek Zadeh, Yen Hua Huang, Tsung Lin Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Albofungin, a hexacyclic aromatic natural product, exhibits broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Its biosynthesis, regulation, and resistance remain elusive. Here, we report the albofungin (abf) biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) from its producing strain Streptomyces tumemacerans JCM5050. The nascent abf BGC encodes 70 putative genes, including regulators, transporters, type II polyketide synthases (PKSs), oxidoreductase, and tailoring enzymes. To validate the intactness and functionality of the BGC, we developed an Escherichia coli-Streptomyces shuttle bacterial artificial chromosome system, whereby the abf BGC was integrated into the genome of a nonproducing host via heterologous conjugation, wherefrom albofungin can be produced, confirming that the BGC is in effect. We then delimited the boundaries of the BGC by means of in vitro CRISPR-Cas9 DNA editing, concluding a minimal but essential 60-kb abf BGC ranging from orfL to abf58. The orfA gene encoding a reduced flavin adenine dinucleotide (FADH2)-dependent halogenase was examined and is capable of transforming albofungin to halogen-substituted congeners in vivo and in vitro. The orfL gene encoding a transporter was examined in vivo. The presence/absence of orfA or orfL demonstrated that the MIC of albofungin is subject to alteration when an extracellular polysaccharide intercellular adhesin was formed. Despite that halogenation of albofungin somewhat increases binding affinity to transglycosylase (TGase), albofungin with/without a halogen substituent manifests similar in vitro antimicrobial activity. Halogenation, however, limits overall dissemination and effectiveness given a high secretion rate, weak membrane permeability, and high hydrophobicity of the resulting products, whereby the functions of orfA and orfL are correlated with drug detoxification/resistance for the first time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • albofungin
  • antibiotic detoxification
  • antibiotic resistance
  • biosynthetic gene cluster
  • halogenase
  • transporter


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