Molecular cloning and heterologous expression of a biosynthetic gene cluster for the antitubercular agent D-cycloserine produced by Streptomyces lavendulae

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Mar;54(3):1132-9. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01226-09. Epub 2010 Jan 19.


In the present study, we successfully cloned a 21-kb DNA fragment containing a d-cycloserine (DCS) biosynthetic gene cluster from a DCS-producing Streptomyces lavendulae strain, ATCC 11924. The putative gene cluster consists of 10 open reading frames (ORFs), designated dcsA to dcsJ. This cluster includes two ORFs encoding D-alanyl-D-alanine ligase (dcsI) and a putative membrane protein (dcsJ) as the self-resistance determinants of the producer organism, indicated by our previous work. When the 10 ORFs were introduced into DCS-nonproducing Streptomyces lividans 66 as a heterologous host cell, the transformant acquired DCS productivity. This reveals that the introduced genes are responsible for the biosynthesis of DCS. As anticipated, the disruption of dcsG, seen in the DCS biosynthetic gene cluster, made it possible for the strain ATCC 11924 to lose its DCS production. We here propose the DCS biosynthetic pathway. First, L-serine is O acetylated by a dcsE-encoded enzyme homologous to homoserine O-acetyltransferase. Second, O-acetyl-L-serine accepts hydroxyurea via an O-acetylserine sulfhydrylase homolog (dcsD product) and forms O-ureido-L-serine. The hydroxyurea must be supplied by the catalysis of a dcsB-encoded arginase homolog using the L-arginine derivative, N(G)-hydroxy-L-arginine. The resulting O-ureido-L-serine is then racemized to O-ureido-D-serine by a homolog of diaminopimelate epimerase. Finally, O-ureido-D-serine is cyclized to form DCS with the release of ammonia and carbon dioxide. The cyclization must be done by the dcsG or dcsH product, which belongs to the ATP-grasp fold family of protein.

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular*
  • Cycloserine / biosynthesis*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Streptomyces / genetics*
  • Streptomyces / metabolism


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Cycloserine

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB516431