Biosynthetic gene cluster of cetoniacytone A, an unusual aminocyclitol from the endosymbiotic Bacterium Actinomyces sp. Lu 9419

Chembiochem. 2009 Jan 26;10(2):304-14. doi: 10.1002/cbic.200800527.


A gene cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of the antitumor agent cetoniacytone A was identified in Actinomyces sp. strain Lu 9419, an endosymbiotic bacterium isolated from the intestines of the rose chafer beetle (Cetonia aurata). The nucleotide sequence analysis of the 46 kb DNA region revealed the presence of 31 complete ORFs, including genes predicted to encode a 2-epi-5-epi-valiolone synthase (CetA), a glyoxalase/bleomycin resistance protein (CetB), an acyltransferase (CetD), an FAD-dependent dehydrogenase (CetF2), two oxidoreductases (CetF1 and CetG), two aminotransferases (CetH and CetM), and a pyranose oxidase (CetL). CetA has previously been demonstrated to catalyze the cyclization of sedoheptulose 7-phosphate to the cyclic intermediate, 2-epi-5-epi-valiolone. In this report, the glyoxalase/bleomycin resistance protein homolog CetB was identified as a 2-epi-5-epi-valiolone epimerase (EVE), a new member of the vicinal oxygen chelate (VOC) superfamily. The 24 kDa recombinant histidine-tagged CetB was found to form a homodimer; each monomer contains two betaalphabetabetabeta scaffolds that form a metal binding site with two histidine and two glutamic acid residues. A BLAST search using the newly isolated cet biosynthetic genes revealed an analogous suite of genes in the genome of Frankia alni ACN14a, suggesting that this plant symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacterium is capable of producing a secondary metabolite related to the cetoniacytones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actinomyces / genetics*
  • Actinomyces / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism*
  • Cyclohexanones / metabolism*
  • Frankia / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Metals / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family / genetics*
  • Racemases and Epimerases / chemistry
  • Racemases and Epimerases / genetics
  • Racemases and Epimerases / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cyclohexanones
  • Metals
  • cetoniacytone A
  • Racemases and Epimerases