Biosynthesis of doxorubicin
Doxorubicin(DXR) is a 14- hydroxylatedversion of daunorubicin, the immediate precursor of DXR in its biosynthetic pathway. Daunorubicinis more abundantly found as a natural productbecause it is produced by a number of different wild typestrains of " streptomyces". In contrast, only one known non- wild type species, " streptomycespeucetius" subspecies"cesius" ATCC 27952, was initially found to be capable of producing the more widely used doxorubicin.cite journal |author=Lomovskaya N, Otten SL, Doi-Katayama Y, "et al" |title=Doxorubicin overproduction in Streptomyces peucetius: cloning and characterization of the dnrU ketoreductase and dnrV genes and the doxA cytochrome P-450 hydroxylase gene |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=181 |issue=1 |pages=305–18 |year=1999 |pmid=9864344 |doi=] This strain was created by Arcamone et. al in 1969 by mutating a strain producing daunorubicin, but not DXR, at least in detectable quantities.cite journal |author=Arcamone F, Cassinelli G, Fantini G, "et al" |title=Adriamycin, 14-hydroxydaunomycin, a new antitumor antibiotic from S. peucetius var. caesius |journal=Biotechnol. Bioeng. |volume=11 |issue=6 |pages=1101–10 |year=1969 |pmid=5365804 |doi=10.1002/bit.260110607] Subsequently, Hutchinson's group showed that under special environmental conditions, or by the introduction of genetic modifications, other strains of "streptomyces" can produce doxorubicin.cite journal |author=Grimm A, Madduri K, Ali A, Hutchinson CR |title=Characterization of the Streptomyces peucetius ATCC 29050 genes encoding doxorubicin polyketide synthase |journal=Gene |volume=151 |issue=1-2 |pages=1–10 |year=1994 |pmid=7828855 |doi=] His group has also clonedmany of the genesrequired for DXR production, although not all of them have been fully characterized. In 1996, Strohl's group discovered, isolated and characterized dox A, the geneencoding the enzymethat converts daunorubicin into DXR.cite journal |author=Dickens ML, Strohl WR |title=Isolation and characterization of a gene from Streptomyces sp. strain C5 that confers the ability to convert daunomycin to doxorubicin on Streptomyces lividans TK24 |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=178 |issue=11 |pages=3389–95 |year=1996 |pmid=8655530 |doi=] By 1999, they produced recombinant Dox A, a Cytochrome P450 oxidase, and found that it catalyzesmultiple steps in DXR biosynthesis, including steps leading to daunorubicin.cite journal |author=Walczak RJ, Dickens ML, Priestley ND, Strohl WR |title=Purification, properties, and characterization of recombinant Streptomyces sp. strain C5 DoxA, a cytochrome P-450 catalyzing multiple steps in doxorubicin biosynthesis |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=181 |issue=1 |pages=298–304 |year=1999 |pmid=9864343 |doi=] This was significant because it became clear that all daunorubicin producing strains have the necessary genesto produce DXR, the much more therapeutically important of the two. Hutchinson's group went on to develop methods to improve the yield of DXR, from the fermentation process used in its commercial production, not only by introducing Dox A encoding plasmids, but also by introducing mutations to deactivate enzymesthat shunt DXR precursors to less useful products, for example baumycin-like glycosides.cite journal |author=Lomovskaya N, Otten SL, Doi-Katayama Y, "et al" |title=Doxorubicin overproduction in Streptomyces peucetius: cloning and characterization of the dnrU ketoreductase and dnrV genes and the doxA cytochrome P-450 hydroxylase gene |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=181 |issue=1 |pages=305–18 |year=1999 |pmid=9864344 |doi=] Some triple mutants, that also over-expressed Dox A, were able to double the yield of DXR. This is of more than academic interest because at that time DXR cost about $1.37 million per kg and current production in 1999 was 225 kg per annum.cite journal |author=Hutchinson CR, Colombo AL |title=Genetic engineering of doxorubicin production in Streptomyces peucetius: a review |journal=J. Ind. Microbiol. Biotechnol. |volume=23 |issue=1 |pages=647–52 |year=1999 |pmid=10455495 |doi=] More efficient production techniques have brought the price down to $1.1 million per kg for the non- liposomalformulation. Although DXR can be produced semi-synthetically from daunorubicin, the process involves electrophilic brominationand multiple steps and the yield is poor.cite journal |author=Lown JW |title=Anthracycline and anthraquinone anticancer agents: current status and recent developments |journal=Pharmacol. Ther. |volume=60 |issue=2 |pages=185–214 |year=1993 |pmid=8022857 |doi=] Since daunorubicin is produced by fermentation, it would be ideal if the bacteriacould complete DXR synthesis more effectively.
anthracyclineskeleton of doxorubicin (DXR) is produced by a Type II polyketide synthase (PKS) in "streptomyces peucetius". First, a 21-carbon decaketide chain (Fig 1. (1)) is synthesized from a single 3-carbon propionyl group from propionyl-CoA, and 9 2-carbon units derived from 9 sequential (iterative) decarboxylative condensations of malonyl-CoA. Each malonyl-CoAunit contributes a 2-carbon ketide unit to the growing polyketide chain. Each addition is catalyzed by the "minimal PKS" consisting of an acyl carrier protein(ACP), a ketosynthase (KS)/chain length factor (CLF) heterodimer and a (MAT). (refer to top of Figure 10.
This process is very similar to
fatty acid synthesis, by fatty acid synthases and to Type I polyketide synthesis. But, in contrast to fatty acidsynthesis, the keto groups of the growing polyketide chain are not modified during chain elongation and they are not usually fully reduced. In contrast to Type I PKS systems, the synthetic enzymes (KS, CLF, ACP and AT) are not attached covalently to each other, and may not even remain associated during each step of the polyketide chain synthesis. After the 21-carbon decaketide chain of DXR is completed, successive modifications are made to eventually produce a tetracyclic anthracyclineaglycone(without glycosideattached) cite journal |author=Hutchinson CR |title=Biosynthetic Studies of Daunorubicin and Tetracenomycin C |journal= |volume=97 |issue=7 |pages=2525–2536 |year=1997 |pmid=11851469 |doi=] . The daunosamine amino sugar, activated by addition of Thiamine diphosphateTDP, is created in another series of reactions cite journal |author=Otten SL, Gallo MA, Madduri K, Liu X, Hutchinson CR |title=Cloning and characterization of the Streptomyces peucetius dnmZUV genes encoding three enzymes required for biosynthesis of the daunorubicin precursor thymidine diphospho-L-daunosamine |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=179 |issue=13 |pages=4446–50 |year=1997 |pmid=9209071 |doi=] . It is joined to the anthracyclineaglycone and further modifications are done to produce first daunorubicinthen DXR cite journal |author=Dickens ML, Priestley ND, Strohl WR |title=In vivo and in vitro bioconversion of epsilon-rhodomycinone glycoside to doxorubicin: functions of DauP, DauK, and DoxA |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=179 |issue=8 |pages=2641–50 |year=1997 |pmid=9098063 |doi=] . There are at least 3 gene clusters important to DXR biosynthesis: dps genes which specifiy the enzymes required for the linear polyketide chain synthesis and its first cyclizations, the dnr cluster is responsible for the remaining modifications of the anthracyclinestructure and the dnm genes involved in the amino sugar, daunosamine, synthesis. Additionally, there is a set of "self resistance" genesto reduce the toxic impact of the anthracyclineon the producing organism. One mechanism is a membrane pump that causes efflux of the DXR out of the cell (drr loci) cite journal |author=Gandlur SM, Wei L, Levine J, Russell J, Kaur P |title=Membrane topology of the DrrB protein of the doxorubicin transporter of Streptomyces peucetius |journal=J. Biol. Chem. |volume=279 |issue=26 |pages=27799–806 |year=2004 |pmid=15090538 |doi=10.1074/jbc.M402898200] . Since these complex molecules are only advantageous under specific conditions, and require a lot of energy to produce, their synthesis is tightly regulated.cite journal |author=Jiang H, Hutchinson CR |title=Feedback regulation of doxorubicin biosynthesis in Streptomyces peucetius |journal=Res. Microbiol. |volume=157 |issue=7 |pages=666–74 |year=2006 |pmid=16545946 |doi=10.1016/j.resmic.2006.02.004]
Polyketide Chain Synthesis
Doxorubicin is synthesized by a specialized
The initial event in DXR synthesis is the selection of the
propionyl-CoAstarter unit and its decarboxylative addition to a two carbon ketide unit, derived from malonyl-CoAto produce the five carbon B-ketovaleryl ACP. The five carbon diketide is delivered by the ACP to the cysteinesulfhydryl group at the KS active site, by thioesterexchange, and the ACP is released from the chain. The free ACP picks up another malonategroup from malonyl-CoA, also by thioesterexchange, with release of the CoA. , and joined to produce a 7 carbon triketide, now anchored to the ACP (see top of Figure 1). Again the ACP hands the chain off to the KS subunit and the process is repeated iteratively until the decaketide is completed.
In most Type II systems the initiating event is delivery by ACP of an
acetateunit, derived from acetyl-CoA, to the active siteof the ketosynthase (KS) subunitof the KS/CLF heterodimer. The default mode for Type II PKS systems is the incorporation of acetate as the primer unit, and that holds true for the DXR "minimal PKS". In other words the action of KS/CLF/ACP (Dps A, B and G) from this system will not produce 21- carbondecaketides, but 20-carbon decaketides instead, because acetate is the “preferred” starter. The process of specifying propionateis not completely understood, but it is clear that it depends on an additional protein, Dps C, which may be acting as a ketosynthase or acyltransferase selective for propionyl-CoA, and possibly Dps D makes a contribution cite journal |author=Bao W, Sheldon PJ, Hutchinson CR |title=Purification and properties of the Streptomyces peucetius DpsC beta-ketoacyl:acyl carrier protein synthase III that specifies the propionate-starter unit for type II polyketide biosynthesis |journal=Biochemistry |volume=38 |issue=30 |pages=9752–7 |year=1999 |pmid=10423255 |doi=10.1021/bi990751h] cite journal |author=Bao W, Sheldon PJ, Wendt-Pienkowski E, Hutchinson CR |title=The Streptomyces peucetius dpsC gene determines the choice of starter unit in biosynthesis of the daunorubicin polyketide |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=181 |issue=15 |pages=4690–5 |year=1999 |pmid=10419974 |doi=] .
A dedicated MAT has been found to be dispensable for polyketide production under in vitro conditions cite journal |author=Matharu AL, Cox RJ, Crosby J, Byrom KJ, Simpson TJ |title=MCAT is not required for in vitro polyketide synthesis in a minimal actinorhodin polyketide synthase from Streptomyces coelicolor |journal=Chem. Biol. |volume=5 |issue=12 |pages=699–711 |year=1998 |pmid=9862793 |doi=] . The PKS may "borrow" the MAT from its own
fatty acid synthaseand this may be the primary way ACP receives its malonate group in DXR biosynthesis. Additionally, there is excellent evidence cite journal |author=Arthur CJ, Szafranska A, Evans SE, "et al" |title=Self-malonylation is an intrinsic property of a chemically synthesized type II polyketide synthase acyl carrier protein |journal=Biochemistry |volume=44 |issue=46 |pages=15414–21 |year=2005 |pmid=16285746 |doi=10.1021/bi051499i] that "self-malonylation" is an inherent characteristic of Type II ACPs. In summary, a given Type II PKS may provide its own MAT (s), it may borrow one from FAS, or its ACP may “self-malonylate”.
It is unknown whether the same KS/CLF/ACP ternary complex chaperones the growth of a full length polyketide chain through the entire catalytic cycle, or whether the ACP dissociates after each condensation reaction cite journal |author=Dreier J, Khosla C |title=Mechanistic analysis of a type II polyketide synthase. Role of conserved residues in the beta-ketoacyl synthase-chain length factor heterodimer |journal=Biochemistry |volume=39 |issue=8 |pages=2088–95 |year=2000 |pmid=10684659 |doi=] . A 2.0-Å resolution structure of the actinorhodin KS/CLF, which is very similar to the dps KS/CLF, shows polyketides being elongated inside an
amphipathictunnel formed at the interface of the KS and CLF subunits cite journal |author=Keatinge-Clay AT, Maltby DA, Medzihradszky KF, Khosla C, Stroud RM |title=An antibiotic factory caught in action |journal=Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. |volume=11 |issue=9 |pages=888–93 |year=2004 |pmid=15286722 |doi=10.1038/nsmb808] . The tunnel is about 17-Å long and one side has many charged amino acid residues which appear to be stabilizing the carbonylgroups of the chain, while the other side is hydrophobic. This structure explains why both subunits are necessary for chain elongation and how the reactive growing chain is protected from random spontaneous reactions until it is positioned properly for orderly cyclization. The structure also suggests a mechanism for chain length regulation. Amino acidside groups extend into the tunnel and act as "gates". A couple of particularly bulky residues may be impassable by the chain, causing termination. Modifications to tunnel residues based on this structure were able to alter the chain length of the final product cite journal |author=Tang Y, Tsai SC, Khosla C |title=Polyketide chain length control by chain length factor |journal=J. Am. Chem. Soc. |volume=125 |issue=42 |pages=12708–9 |year=2003 |pmid=14558809 |doi=10.1021/ja0378759] . The final condensation causes the polyketide chain to "buckle" allowing an intramolecularattack by the C-12 methylene carbanion, generated by enzymecatalyzed protonremoval and stabilized by electrostaticinteractions in the tunnel, on the C-7 carbonyl(see 3 in Figure 1). This tunnel aided intramolecular aldol condensationprovides the first cyclization when the chain is still in the tunnel. The same C-7/C-12 attack occurs in the biosynthesisof DXR, in a similar fashion.
Conversion to 12-deoxyalkalonic acid
The 21-carbon decaketide is converted to 12-deoxyalkalonic acid (5), the first free easily isolated intermediate in DXR biosynthesis, in 3 steps. These steps are catalyzed by the final 3 enzymes in the dps
gene clusterand are considered part of the polyketide synthase. While the decaketide is still associated with the KS/CLF hetero dimerthe 9- carbonylgroup is reduced by Dps E, the 9-ketoreductase, using NADPHas the reducing agent/ hydridedonor. Dps F, the “1st ring cyclase” /aromatase, is very specific and is in the family of C-7/C-12 cyclases that require prior C-9 keto-reduction cite journal |author=Meurer G, Gerlitz M, Wendt-Pienkowski E, Vining LC, Rohr J, Hutchinson CR |title=Iterative type II polyketide synthases, cyclases and ketoreductases exhibit context-dependent behavior in the biosynthesis of linear and angular decapolyketides |journal=Chem. Biol. |volume=4 |issue=6 |pages=433–43 |year=1997 |pmid=9224566 |doi=] . These two reactions are felt to occur while the polyketide chain is still partially in the KS/CLF tunnel and it is not known what finally cleaves the chain from its covalent link to the KS or ACP. If the Dps F cyclaseis inactivated by mutationsor gene deletions, the chain will cyclize spontaneously in randomfashion. Thus, Dps F is thought to “chaperone” or help fold the polyketide to ensure non-random cyclization, a reaction that is energetically favorable and leads to subsequent dehydration and resultant aromatizationcite journal |author=Wohlert SE, Wendt-Pienkowski E, Bao W, Hutchinson CR |title=Production of aromatic minimal polyketides by the daunorubicin polyketide synthase genes reveals the incompatibility of the heterologous DpsY and JadI cyclases |journal=J. Nat. Prod. |volume=64 |issue=8 |pages=1077–80 |year=2001 |pmid=11520231 |doi=] . Next, Dps Y regioselectively promotes formation of the next two carbon-carbon bonds and then catalyzes dehydration leading to aromatizationof one of the rings to give (5).
Conversion to є-rhodomycinone
The next reactions are catalyzed by enzymes originating from the dnr
gene cluster. Dnr G, a C-12 oxygenase(see (5) for numbering) introduces a keto group using molecular oxygen. It is an " anthronetype oxygenase", also called a quinone-forming monooxygenase, many of which are important 'tailoring enzymes' in the biosynthesisof several types of aromaticpolyketide antibiotics. They have no cofactors: no flavins, metalsor energy sources. Their mechanism is poorly understood but may involve a " proteinradical" cite journal |author=Fetzner S |title=Oxygenases without requirement for cofactors or metal ions |journal=Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. |volume=60 |issue=3 |pages=243–57 |year=2002 |pmid=12436305 |doi=10.1007/s00253-002-1123-4] . Alkalonic acid (6), a quinone, is the product. Dnr C, alkalonic acid-O- methyltransferase methylates the carboxylic acidend of the moleculeforming an ester, using S-adenosyl methionine(SAM) as the cofactor/ methyl groupdonor. The product is alkalonic acid methyl ester (7). Interestingly, the methyl groupis removed later, but it serves to activate the adjacent methylenegroup facilitating its attack on the terminal carbonylgroup, a reaction catalyzed by DnrD. Dnr D, the fourth ring cyclase (AAME cyclase), catalyzes an intramolecular aldol additionreaction. No cofactors are required and neither aromatization nor dehydration occurs. A simple base catalyzed mechanism is proposed cite journal |author=Kendrew SG, Katayama K, Deutsch E, Madduri K, Hutchinson CR |title=DnrD cyclase involved in the biosynthesis of doxorubicin: purification and characterization of the recombinant enzyme |journal=Biochemistry |volume=38 |issue=15 |pages=4794–9 |year=1999 |pmid=10200167 |doi=10.1021/bi9827924] . The product is aklaviketone (8). Dnr H, aklaviketone reductase, stereospecifically reduces the 17-keto group of the new fourth ring to a 17-OH group to give aklavinone (9). This introduces a new chiralcenter and NADPHis a cofactor. Dnr F, aklavinone-11- hydroxylase, is a FAD monooxygenase that uses NADPHto activate molecular oxygenfor subsequent hydroxylation. є-rhodomycinone (10) is the product cite journal |author=Niemi J, Wang Y, Airas K, Ylihonko K, Hakala J, Mäntsälä P |title=Characterization of aklavinone-11-hydroxylase from Streptomyces purpurascens |journal=Biochim. Biophys. Acta |volume=1430 |issue=1 |pages=57–64 |year=1999 |pmid=10082933 |doi=] .
Conversion to doxorubicin
daunosamine glycosyltransferase catalyzes the addition of the TDP activated glycoside, L- daunosamine-TDP to є-rhodomycinone to give rhodomycin D (Figure 2). The release of TDP drives the reaction forward. The enzyme has sequence similarityto glycosyltransferases of the other "unusual sugars" added to Type II PKS aromaticproducts cite journal |author=Otten SL, Liu X, Ferguson J, Hutchinson CR |title=Cloning and characterization of the Streptomyces peucetius dnrQS genes encoding a daunosamine biosynthesis enzyme and a glycosyl transferase involved in daunorubicin biosynthesis |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=177 |issue=22 |pages=6688–92 |year=1995 |pmid=7592454 |doi=] . occurs spontaneously, or by the influence of Dnr P, giving 13-deoxycarminomycin.A crystal structure, with bound products, of aclacinomycin methyl esterase, an [enzyme] with 53% sequence homologyto Dnr P, from " streptomycespurpurascens" , has been solved cite journal |author=Jansson A, Niemi J, Mäntsälä P, Schneider G |title=Crystal structure of aclacinomycin methylesterase with bound product analogues: implications for anthracycline recognition and mechanism |journal=J. Biol. Chem. |volume=278 |issue=40 |pages=39006–13 |year=2003 |pmid=12878604 |doi=10.1074/jbc.M304008200] . It is able to catalyze the same reaction and uses a classic Ser-His-Asp catalytic triadwith serineacting as the nucleophileand gly-met providing stabilization of the transition stateby forming an " oxyanion hole". The active site amino acids are almost entirely the same as Dnr P, and the mechanism is almost certainly identical.Although Dox A is shown next in the biosynthetic scheme (Figure 2), Dnr K, carminomycin 4-O- methyltransferaseis able to O- methylatethe 4- hydroxylgroup of any of the glycosides in Figure 2. A 2.35 Å resolution crystal structureof the enzymewith bound products has recently been solved cite journal |author=Jansson A, Koskiniemi H, Mäntsälä P, Niemi J, Schneider G |title=Crystal structure of a ternary complex of DnrK, a methyltransferase in daunorubicin biosynthesis, with bound products |journal=J. Biol. Chem. |volume=279 |issue=39 |pages=41149–56 |year=2004 |pmid=15273252 |doi=10.1074/jbc.M407081200] . The orientation of the products is consistent with a SN2 mechanism of methyltransfer. Site-directed mutagenesisof the potential acid/base residues in the active sitedid not affect catalysisleading to the conclusion that Dnr K most likely acts as an entropic enzymein that rate enhancement is mainly due to orientational and proximity effects. This is in contrast to most other O-methyltransferases where acid/base catalysis has been demonstrated to be an essential contribution to rate enhancement.Dox A catalyzes three successive oxidations in " streptomycespeucetius". Deficient DXR production is not primarily due to low levels of or malfunctioning Dox A, but because there are many products diverted away from the pathway shown in Figure 2. Each of the glycosides is a potential target of shunt enzymes, not shown, some of which are products of the dnr gene cluster. Mutationsof these enzymes does significantly boost DXR production cite journal |author=Lomovskaya N, Otten SL, Doi-Katayama Y, "et al" |title=Doxorubicin overproduction in Streptomyces peucetius: cloning and characterization of the dnrU ketoreductase and dnrV genes and the doxA cytochrome P-450 hydroxylase gene |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=181 |issue=1 |pages=305–18 |year=1999 |pmid=9864344 |doi=] . In addition, Dox A has a very low kcat/Km value for C-14 oxidation(130/M) compared to C-13 oxidation (up to 22,000/M for some substrates). Genetic manipulation to overexpressDox A has also increased yields, particularly if the genes for the shunt enzymes are inactivated simultaneously.Dox A is a cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase that has broad substrate specificity, catalyzing anthracycline hydroxylationat C-13 and C-14 ( Figure 2). The enzymehas an absolute requirement for molecular oxygenand NADPHcite journal |author=Walczak RJ, Dickens ML, Priestley ND, Strohl WR |title=Purification, properties, and characterization of recombinant Streptomyces sp. strain C5 DoxA, a cytochrome P-450 catalyzing multiple steps in doxorubicin biosynthesis |journal=J. Bacteriol. |volume=181 |issue=1 |pages=298–304 |year=1999 |pmid=9864343 |doi=] . Initially, two successive oxidations are done at C-13, followed by a single oxidation of C-14 that converts daunorubicinto doxorubicin.
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