We studied the control of proline metabolism and tryptophan biosynthesis in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), because proline is involved in secondary metabolism [undecylprodigiosin (Red) biosynthesis] whilst tryptophan, to our knowledge, is not. Proline transport was constitutive in wild-type cells, as were the enzymes of proline catabolism. When we analysed proline biosynthesis, we discovered that growth in the presence of proline stimulated rather than repressed the biosynthetic genes. We isolated proline transport mutants and to our surprise discovered that such strains overproduced Red. As well as losing the ability to transport proline, they had lost, to differing extents, the ability to degrade proline. However, proline biosynthesis appeared to be unaffected. It appears that proline anabolism and catabolism in S. coelicolor A3(2) is in a state of dynamic equilibrium and that if this balance is disturbed, Red biosynthesis can act as a sink for excess proline. we cloned the trpD and the trpCBA clusters of S. coelicolor A3(2) and identified a promoter within the latter cluster. This promoter appeared not to be regulated by the presence or absence of exogenous tryptophan, but rather by the growth phase and/or the growth rate of the culture. It appears, therefore, that an amino acid biosynthetic pathway that is apparently not involved in secondary metabolism in the streptomycete is regulated at the genetic level - not by feedback repression, but rather by the overall physiological state of the cell.
- amino acid anabolism, catabolism and transport