New semi-synthetic aminoglycoside antibiotics generally use chemical modifications to avoid inactivity from pathogens. One of the most used modifications is 3’,4’-di-deoxygenation, which imitates the structure of gentamicin. However, the mechanism of di-deoxygenation has not been clearly elucidated.
Here, we report that the bifunctional enzyme, GenB4, catalyzes the last step of gentamicin 3’,4’-di-deoxygenation via reduction and transamination activities. Following disruption of genB4 in wild-typeM. echinospora, its products accumulated in 6’-deamino-6’-oxoverdamicin (1), verdamicin C2a (2), and its epimer, verdamicin C2 (3). Following disruption of genB4 in M. echinospora △genK, its products accumulated in sisomicin (4) and 6’-N-methylsisomicin (5, G-52). Following in vitro catalytic reactions, GenB4 transformed sisomicin (4) to gentamicin C1a (9) and transformed verdamicin C2a (2) and its epimer, verdamicin C2 (3), to gentamicin C2a (11) and gentamicin C2 (12), respectively.
This finding indicated that in addition to its transamination activity, GenB4 exhibits specific 4’,5’ double-bond reducing activity and is responsible for the last step of gentamicin 3’,4’-di-deoxygenation. Taken together, we propose three new intermediates that may refine and supplement the specific biosynthetic pathway of gentamicin C components and lay the foundation for the complete elucidation of di-deoxygenation mechanisms.