Evolution of the clusters of genes for β-lactam antibiotics: a model for evolutive combinatorial assembly of new β-lactams
Keywords:β-lactam antibiotics, microbial evolution, gene clusters, Streptomyces, Penicillium
Abstractβ-Lactam antibiotics are produced by prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. The genes for β-lactam biosynthesis are organized in clusters but the location of the different genes is not identical. Biosynthesis genes are clustered with genes for resistance (bla, pbp) and for the efflux of the antibiotic (cmcT) in prokaryotes. Comparison of proteins reveals much larger differences for primary metabolism enzymes than for β-lactam biosynthesis enzymes in producing organisms. This suggests a horizontal transfer of the β-lactam antibiotic biosynthesis genes.
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