Streptomyces incarnatus NRRL8089 produces the antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal nucleoside antibiotic sinefungin. To enhance sinefungin production, multiple mutations were introduced to the rpoB gene encoding RNA polymerase (RNAP) β-subunit at the target residues, D447, S453, H457, and R460. Sparse regression analysis using elastic-net lasso-ridge penalties on previously reported H457X mutations identified a numeric parameter set, which suggested that H457R/Y/F may cause production enhancement. H457R/R460C mutation successfully enhanced the sinefungin production by 3-fold, while other groups of mutations, such as D447G/R460C or D447G/H457Y, made moderate or even negative effects. To identify why the rif cluster residues have diverse effects on sinefungin production, an RNAP/DNA/mRNA complex model was constructed by homology modeling and molecular dynamics simulation. The 4 residues were located near the mRNA strand. Density functional theory-based calculation suggested that D447, H457, and R460 are in direct contact with ribonucleotide, and partially positive charges are induced by negatively charged chain of mRNA.
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