Cloning and Heterologous Expression of the Epothilone Gene Cluster

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  28 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5453, pp. 640-642
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5453.640

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


The polyketide epothilone is a potential anticancer agent that stabilizes microtubules in a similar manner to Taxol. The gene cluster responsible for epothilone biosynthesis in the myxobacteriumSorangium cellulosum was cloned and completely sequenced. It encodes six multifunctional proteins composed of a loading module, one nonribosomal peptide synthetase module, eight polyketide synthase modules, and a P450 epoxidase that converts desoxyepothilone into epothilone. Concomitant expression of these genes in the actinomyceteStreptomyces coelicolor produced epothilones A and B.Streptomyces coelicolor is more amenable to strain improvement and grows about 10-fold as rapidly as the natural producer, so this heterologous expression system portends a plentiful supply of this important agent.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: julien{at}

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science