Crystal Structures of the Streptomyces coelicolor TetR-Like Protein ActR Alone and in Complex with Actinorhodin or the Actinorhodin Biosynthetic Precursor (S)-DNPA Academic Article uri icon

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  • Actinorhodin, an antibiotic produced by Streptomyces coelicolor, is exported from the cell by the ActA efflux pump. actA is divergently transcribed from actR, which encodes a TetR-like transcriptional repressor. We showed previously that ActR represses transcription by binding to an operator from the actA/actR intergenic region. Importantly, actinorhodin itself or various actinorhodin biosynthetic intermediates can cause ActR to dissociate from its operator, leading to derepression. This suggests that ActR may mediate timely self-resistance to an endogenously produced antibiotic by responding to one of its biosynthetic precursors. Here, we report the structural basis for this precursor-mediated derepression with crystal structures of homodimeric ActR by itself and in complex with either actinorhodin or the actinorhodin biosynthetic intermediate (S)-DNPA [4-dihydro-9-hydroxy-1-methyl-10-oxo-3-H-naphtho-[2,3-c]-pyran-3-(S)-acetic acid]. The ligand-binding tunnel in each ActR monomer has a striking hydrophilic/hydrophobic/hydrophilic arrangement of surface residues that accommodate either one hexacyclic actinorhodin molecule or two back-to-back tricyclic (S)-DNPA molecules. Moreover, our work also reveals the strongest structural evidence to date that TetR-mediated antibiotic resistance may have been acquired from an antibiotic-producer organism.


  • Willems, AR
  • Tahlan, K
  • Taguchi, T
  • Zhang, K
  • Lee, ZZ
  • Ichinose, K
  • Junop, Murray
  • Nodwell, JR

publication date

  • March 2008