Minimycin (MIN) is a C-nucleoside antibiotic structurally related to pseudouridine, and indigoidine is a naturally occurring blue pigment produced by diverse bacteria. Although MIN and indigoidine have been known for decades, the logic underlying the divergent biosynthesis of these interesting molecules has been obscure. Here, we report the identification of a minimal 5-gene cluster (min) essential for MIN biosynthesis. We demonstrated that a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (MinA) governs “the switch” for the divergent biosynthesis of MIN and the cryptic indigoidine. We also demonstrated that MinCN (the N-terminal phosphatase domain of MinC), MinD (uracil phosphoribosyltransferase), and MinT (transporter) function together as the safeguard enzymes, which collaboratively constitute an unusual self-resistance system. Finally, we provided evidence that MinD, utilizing an unprecedented substrate-competition strategy for self-resistance of the producer cell, maintains competition advantage over the active molecule MIN-5′-monophosphate by increasing the UMP pool in vivo. These findings greatly expand our knowledge regarding natural product biosynthesis.
Kong, L., Xu, G., Liu, X., Wang, J., Tang, Z., Cai, Y. S., … Chen, W. (2019). Divergent Biosynthesis of C-Nucleoside Minimycin and Indigoidine in Bacteria. IScience, 22, 430–440. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2019.11.037