Exploration of cryptic organic photosensitive compound as Zincphyrin IV in Streptomyces venezuelae ATCC 15439

Hue Thi Nguyen, Van Thuy Thi Pham, Chung Thanh Nguyen, Anaya Raj Pokhrel, Tae-Su Kim, DaHye Kim, Kun Na, Tokutaro Yamaguchi, Jae Kyung Sohng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Zincphyrin IV is a potential organic photosensitizer which is of significant interest for applications in biomedicine, materials science, agriculture (as insecticide), and chemistry. Most studies on Zincphyrin are focused on Zincphyrin III while biosynthesis and application of Zincphyrin IV is comparatively less explored. In this study, we explored Zincphyrin IV production in Streptomyces venezuelae ATCC 15439 through combination of morphology engineering and "One strain many compounds" approach. The morphology engineering followed by change in culture medium led to activation of cryptic Zincphyrin IV biosynthetic pathway in S. venezuelae with subsequent detection of Zincphyrin IV. Morphology engineering applied in S. venezuelae increased the biomass from 7.17 to 10.5 mg/mL after 48 h of culture. Moreover, morphology of engineered strain examined by SEM showed reduced branching and fragmentation of mycelia. The distinct change in color of culture broth visually demonstrated the activation of the cryptic biosynthetic pathway in S. venezuelae. The production of Zincphyrin IV was found to be initiated after overexpression ssgA, resulting in the increase in titer from 4.21 to 7.54 μg/mL. Furthermore, Zincphyrin IV demonstrated photodynamic antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis and photodynamic anticancer activity against human ovarian carcinoma cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-724
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (NRF-2017R1A2A2A05000939).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/biosynthesis
  • Antineoplastic Agents/metabolism
  • Bacillus subtilis/drug effects
  • Biosynthetic Pathways/genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival/drug effects
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Coproporphyrins/biosynthesis
  • Culture Media/chemistry
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Engineering/methods
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Photosensitizing Agents/metabolism
  • Streptomyces/genetics

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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