Glycopeptide antibiotics (GPAs) include clinically important drugs used for the treatment of infections caused by Gram-positive pathogens. These antibiotics are specialized metabolites produced by several genera of actinomycete bacteria. While many GPAs are highly chemically modified, A47934 is a relatively unadorned GPA lacking sugar or acyl modifications, common to other members of the class, but which is chlorinated at three distinct sites. The biosynthesis of A47934 is encoded by a 68-kb gene cluster in
Streptomyces toyocaensisNRRL 15009. The cluster includes all necessary genes for the synthesis of A47934, including two predicted halogenase genes, staIand staK. In this study, we report that only one of the halogenase genes, staI, is necessary and essential for A47934 biosynthesis. Chlorination of the A47934 scaffold is important for antibiotic activity, as assessed by binding affinity for the target N-acyl- d-Ala- d-Ala. Surprisingly, chlorination is also vital to avoid activation of enterococcal and StreptomycesVanB-type GPA resistance through induction of resistance genes. Phenotypic assays showed stronger induction of GPA resistance by the dechlorinated compared to the chlorinated GPA. Correspondingly, the relative expression of the enterococcal vanAresistance gene was shown to be increased by the dechlorinated compared to the chlorinated compound. These results provide insight into the biosynthesis of GPAs and the biological function of GPA chlorination for this medically important class of antibiotic.