Molecular Regulation of Penicillin Biosynthesis in Aspergillus (Emericella) Nidulans

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1997 Mar 1;148(1):1-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6968.1997.tb10258.x.


The beta-lactam antibiotic penicillin is produced as end product by only some filamentous fungi, most notably by Aspergillus nidulans and Penicillium chrysogenum. The biosynthesis of this secondary metabolite is catalyzed by three enzymes which are encoded by the following three genes: acvA (pcbAB), ipnA (pcbC) and aat (penDE). The genes are organized into a gene cluster. In A. nidulans, several studies have indicated that the genes are controlled by a complex regulatory network. The wide-domain regulatory protein PACC binds to the intergenic region between acvA and ipnA and, at alkaline pH, increases at least ipnA gene transcription. An additional DNA binding protein (PENR1) was suggested to repress acvA and to activate ipnA and aat expression. Furthermore, three recessive trans-acting mutations have been characterized (prgA1, prgB1, npeE1) which most likely correspond to positively acting regulatory genes of the penicillin biosynthesis genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillus nidulans / chemistry
  • Aspergillus nidulans / genetics
  • Aspergillus nidulans / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal / physiology
  • Genes, Fungal / physiology
  • Penicillins / biosynthesis*
  • Penicillins / chemistry


  • Penicillins