Regulation of genes in Streptomyces bacteria required for catabolism of lignin-derived aromatic compounds

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Apr;86(3):921-9. doi: 10.1007/s00253-009-2358-0. Epub 2009 Dec 9.


The major utilization pathway for lignin-derived aromatic compounds in microorganisms is the beta-ketoadipate pathway. Through this pathway, the aromatic compounds protocatechuate and catechol are converted to acetyl coenzyme A and succinyl coenzyme A. The enzymes of the protocatechuate branch of this pathway are encoded by the pca genes. Here, we describe a gene cluster in Streptomyces coelicolor containing the pca structural genes and a regulatory gene required for the catabolism of protocatechuate. We found that transcription of the structural genes in S. coelicolor is induced by protocatechuate and p-hydroxybenzoate. We also observed inducible transcription of pca structural genes in the ligninolytic strain Streptomyces viridosporus ATCC 39115. Disruption of a gene encoding a putative MarR family transcription factor that is divergently transcribed from the pca structural genes resulted in constitutive transcription of the structural genes. Thus, the transcription factor encoded by this gene is an apparent negative regulator of pca gene transcription in S. coelicolor. Our findings suggest how Streptomyces bacteria could be engineered for and used in biotechnology for the utilization and degradation of lignin and lignin-derived aromatic compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Gene Order
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Hydrocarbons, Aromatic / metabolism*
  • Hydroxybenzoates / metabolism
  • Lignin / chemistry*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Parabens / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Streptomyces / genetics
  • Streptomyces / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Hydrocarbons, Aromatic
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Parabens
  • protocatechuic acid
  • Lignin
  • 4-hydroxybenzoic acid

Associated data

  • GENBANK/GU180197
  • GENBANK/GU180198
  • GENBANK/GU180199