Biosynthesis of the Fluorinated Natural Product Nucleocidin inStreptomyces calvusIs Dependent on thebldA-Specified Leu-tRNAUUAMolecule Academic Article uri icon

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  • Nucleocidin is one of the very few natural products known to contain fluorine. Mysteriously, the nucleocidin producer Streptomyces calvus ATCC 13382 has not been observed to synthesize the compound since its discovery in 1956. Here, we report that complementation of S. calvus ATCC 13382 with a functional bldA-encoded Leu-tRNA(UUA) molecule restores the production of nucleocidin. Nucleocidin was detected in culture extracts by (19) F NMR spectroscopy, HPLC-ESI-MS, and HPLC-continuum source molecular absorption spectroscopy for fluorine-specific detection. The molecule was purified from a large-scale culture and definitively characterized by NMR spectroscopy and high-resolution MS. The nucleocidin biosynthetic gene cluster was identified by the presence of genes encoding the 5'-O-sulfamate moiety and confirmed by gene disruption. Two of the genes within the nucleocidin biosynthetic gene cluster contain TTA codons, thus explaining the dependence on bldA and resolving a 60-year-old mystery.


  • Zhu, Xi Ming
  • Hackl, Stefanie
  • Thaker, Maulik N
  • Kalan, Lindsay
  • Weber, Claudia
  • Urgast, Dagmar S
  • Krupp, Eva M
  • Brewer, Alyssa
  • Vanner, Stephanie
  • Szawiola, Anjuli
  • Yim, Grace
  • Feldmann, Jörg
  • Bechthold, Andreas
  • Wright, Gerard
  • Zechel, David L

publication date

  • November 2015