Rhodococcus genome sequence analysis has revealed a surprisingly large (and unexplored) potential for the production of secondary metabolites. Also, putative γ-butyrolactone gene clusters have been identified in some Rhodococci. These signalling molecules are known to regulate secondary metabolism in Streptomyces. This work provides evidence for synthesis of a γ-butyrolactone(-like) molecule by Rhodococci (RJB), the first report in the Rhodococcus genus. The Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 RJB molecule was detected by a reporter system based on the γ-butyrolactone receptor protein (ScbR) of Streptomyces coelicolor. This RJB is structurally identical to 6-dehydro SCB2, the predicted precursor of the S. coelicolor γ-butyrolactone SCB2. The R. jostii RHA1 key RJB biosynthesis gene was identified (gblA): Deletion of gblA resulted in complete loss of RJB synthesis whereas higher RJB levels were detected when gblA was overexpressed. Interaction of the RJB molecule with ScbR indicates that communication may occur between these two Actinomycete genera in their natural habitat. Furthermore, RJB may provide a highly relevant tool for awakening cryptic secondary metabolic gene clusters in Rhodococci. This study provides preliminary evidence that R. jostii RHA1 indeed synthesizes diffusible molecules with antimicrobial activity, but a possible role for RJB in this remains to be established.
- signalling molecules
- Rhodococcus jostii
- STREPTOMYCES-COELICOLOR A3(2)
- GAMMA-BUTYROLACTONE AUTOREGULATOR
- REGULATING ANTIBIOTIC PRODUCTION
- SECONDARY METABOLISM; MORPHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT
- COMPLETE GENOME