A marine bacterium, Hahella chejuensis, recently has attracted attention due to its lytic activity against a red-tide dinoflagellate. The algicidal function originates from its red pigment, prodigiosin, which also exhibits immunosuppressive or anticancer activity. Genome sequencing and functional analysis revealed a gene set contained in the hap gene cluster that is responsible for the biosynthesis of prodigiosin. To screen for the factors affecting the prodigiosin biosynthesis, we constructed a plasmid library of the H. chejuensis genomic DNA, introduced it into Escherichia coli strains harboring the hap cluster, and observed changes in production of the red pigment. Among the screened clones, hapXY genes whose products constitute a two-component signal transduction system were elucidated as positive regulators of the pigment production. In addition, an Hfqdependent, noncoding region located at one end of the hap cluster was confirmed to play roles in regulation. Identification of factors involved in the regulation of prodigiosin biosynthesis should help in understanding how the prodigiosin-biosynthetic pathway is organized and controlled and also aid in modulating the overexpression of prodigiosin in a heterologous host, such as E. coli, or in the natural producer, H. chejuensis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology