Discovery and characterization of the tubercidin biosynthetic pathway from Streptomyces tubercidicus NBRC 13090

Yan Liu, Rong Gong, Xiaoqin Liu, Peichao Zhang, Qi Zhang, You-Sheng Cai, Zixin Deng, Margit Winkler, Jianguo Wu*, Wenqing Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tubercidin (TBN), an adenosine analog with potent antimycobacteria and antitumor bioactivities, highlights an intriguing structure, in which a 7-deazapurine core is linked to the ribose moiety by an N-glycosidic bond. However, the molecular logic underlying the biosynthesis of this antibiotic has remained poorly understood.

Here, we report the discovery and characterization of the TBN biosynthetic pathway from Streptomyces tubercidicus NBRC 13090 via reconstitution of its production in a heterologous host. We demonstrated that TubE specifically utilizes phosphoribosylpyrophosphate and 7-carboxy-7-deazaguanine for the precise construction of the deazapurine nucleoside scaffold. Moreover, we provided biochemical evidence that TubD functions as an NADPH-dependent reductase, catalyzing irreversible reductive deamination. Finally, we verified that TubG acts as a Nudix hydrolase, preferring Co2+ for the maintenance of maximal activity, and is responsible for the tailoring hydrolysis step leading to TBN.

These findings lay a foundation for the rational generation of TBN analogs through synthetic biology strategy, and also open the way for the target-directed search of TBN-related antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131
Number of pages10
JournalMicrobial Cell Factories
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology

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