Knockout of the gene (ste15) encoding a glycosyltransferase and its function in biosynthesis of exopolysaccharide in Streptomyces sp. 139
Streptomyces sp. 139 produces a novel exopolysaccharide (EPS) designated Ebosin which has antagonistic activity for IL-1R in vitro and remarkable anti-rheumatic arthritis activity in vivo. We previously identified a ste (Streptomyces eps) gene cluster consisting of 27 ORFs responsible for Ebosin biosynthsis. The gene product of ste15 shows high homology to known glycosyltransferases. To elucidate its function in Ebosin biosynthesis, the ste15 gene was knocked out with a double crossover via homologous recombination. Our analysis of monosaccharide composition for EPS-m produced by the mutant strain Streptomyces sp. 139 (ste15-) showed that glucose was significantly diminished compared to its natural counterpart Ebosin. This derivative of Ebosin lost the antagonistic activity for IL-1R in vitro and its molecular mass was smaller than Ebosin. These results have demonstrated that the ste15 gene codes for a glycosyltranferase for glucose which is functionally involved in Ebosin biosynthesis.