A dual role for a polyketide synthase in dynemicin enediyne and anthraquinone biosynthesis

Nat Chem. 2018 Feb;10(2):231-236. doi: 10.1038/nchem.2876. Epub 2017 Nov 20.


Dynemicin A is a member of a subfamily of enediyne antitumour antibiotics characterized by a 10-membered carbocycle fused to an anthraquinone, both of polyketide origin. Sequencing of the dynemicin biosynthetic gene cluster in Micromonospora chersina previously identified an enediyne polyketide synthase (PKS), but no anthraquinone PKS, suggesting gene(s) for biosynthesis of the latter were distant from the core dynemicin cluster. To identify these gene(s), we sequenced and analysed the genome of M. chersina. Sequencing produced a short list of putative PKS candidates, yet CRISPR-Cas9 mutants of each locus retained dynemicin production. Subsequently, deletion of two cytochromes P450 in the dynemicin cluster suggested that the dynemicin enediyne PKS, DynE8, may biosynthesize the anthraquinone. Together with 18O-labelling studies, we now present evidence that DynE8 produces the core scaffolds of both the enediyne and anthraquinone, and provide a working model to account for their formation from the programmed octaketide of the enediyne PKS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Anthraquinones / chemistry
  • Anthraquinones / metabolism*
  • Enediynes / chemistry
  • Enediynes / metabolism*
  • Micromonospora / enzymology
  • Micromonospora / genetics
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Polyketide Synthases / chemistry
  • Polyketide Synthases / metabolism*


  • Anthraquinones
  • Enediynes
  • Polyketide Synthases
  • dynemicin A