Analyzing and engineering of the biosynthetic pathway of mollemycin A for enhancing its production

Synth Syst Biotechnol. 2024 Apr 4;9(3):445-452. doi: 10.1016/j.synbio.2024.03.014. eCollection 2024 Sep.


Mollemycin A (MOMA) is a unique glyco-hexadepsipeptide-polyketide that was isolated from a Streptomyces sp. derived from the Australian marine environment. MOMA exhibits remarkable inhibitory activity against both drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant malaria parasites. Optimizing MOMA through structural modifications or product enhancements is necessary for the development of effective analogues. However, modifying MOMA using chemical approaches is challenging, and the production titer of MOMA in the wild-type strain is low. This study identified and characterized the biosynthetic gene cluster of MOMA for the first time, proposed its complex biosynthetic pathway, and achieved an effective two-pronged enhancement of MOMA production. The fermentation medium was optimized to increase the yield of MOMA from 0.9 mg L-1 to 1.3 mg L-1, a 44% boost. Additionally, a synergistic mutant strain was developed by deleting the momB3 gene and overexpressing momB2, resulting in a 2.6-fold increase from 1.3 mg L-1 to 3.4 mg L-1. These findings pave the way for investigating the biosynthetic mechanism of MOMA, creating opportunities to produce a wide range of MOMA analogues, and developing an efficient strain for the sustainable and economical production of MOMA and its analogues.

Keywords: Azinothricin; Biosynthetic engineering; Biosynthetic pathway; Gene cluster; Mollemycin A; Production enhancement.