• An aryl dioxygenase shows remarkable double dioxygenation capacity for diverse bis-aryl compounds, provided they are carbocyclic.

      Overwin, Heike; González, Myriam; Méndez, Valentina; Seeger, Michael; Wray, Victor; Hofer, Bernd; Hel,holtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2016-09)
      The bacterial dioxygenation of mono- or polycyclic aromatic compounds is an intensely studied field. However, only in a few cases has the repeated dioxygenation of a substrate possessing more than a single aromatic ring been described. We previously characterized the aryl-hydroxylating dioxygenase BphA-B4h, an artificial hybrid of the dioxygenases of the biphenyl degraders Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 and Pseudomonas sp. strain B4-Magdeburg, which contains the active site of the latter enzyme, as an exceptionally powerful biocatalyst. We now show that this dioxygenase possesses a remarkable capacity for the double dioxygenation of various bicyclic aromatic compounds, provided that they are carbocyclic. Two groups of biphenyl analogues were examined: series A compounds containing one heterocyclic aromatic ring and series B compounds containing two homocyclic aromatic rings. Whereas all of the seven partially heterocyclic biphenyl analogues were solely dioxygenated in the homocyclic ring, four of the six carbocyclic bis-aryls were converted into ortho,meta-hydroxylated bis-dihydrodiols. Potential reasons for failure of heterocyclic dioxygenations are discussed. The obtained bis-dihydrodiols may, as we also show here, be enzymatically re-aromatized to yield the corresponding tetraphenols. This opens a way to a range of new polyphenolic products, a class of compounds known to exert multiple biological activities. Several of the obtained compounds are novel molecules.
    • High level expression of a recombinant amylosucrase gene and selected properties of the enzyme.

      Schneider, Jens; Fricke, Christin; Overwin, Heike; Hofer, Bernd; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2011-03)
      Two high-level heterologous expression systems for amylosucrase genes have been constructed. One depends on sigma-70 bacterial RNA polymerase, the other on phage T7 RNA polymerase. Translational fusions were formed between slightly truncated versions of the gene from Neisseria polysaccharea and sequences of expression vectors pQE-81L or pET33b(+), respectively. These constructs were introduced into different Escherichia coli strains. The resulting recombinants yielded up to 170 mg of dissolved enzyme per litre of culture at a moderate cell density of five OD(600). To our knowledge, this is the highest yield per cell described so far for amylosucrases. The recombinant enzymes could rapidly be purified through the use of histidine tags in the N-terminally attached sequences. These segments did not alter catalytic properties and therefore need not be removed for most applications. Investigations with glucose and malto-oligosaccharides of different lengths identified rate-limiting steps in the elongation (acceptor reaction) and truncation (donor reaction) of these substrates. The elongation of maltotriose and its reversal, the truncation of maltotetraose, were found to be particularly slow reactions. Potential reasons are discussed, based on the crystal structure of the enzyme. It is furthermore shown that amylosucrase is able to synthesise mixed disaccharides. All of the glucose epimers mannose, allose, and galactose served as acceptors, yielding between one and three main products. We also demonstrate that, as an alternative to the use of purified amylosucrase, cells of the constructed recombinant strains can be used to carry out glucosylations of acceptors.
    • Targeting Bacterial Gyrase with Cystobactamid, Fluoroquinolone, and Aminocoumarin Antibiotics Induces Distinct Molecular Signatures in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

      Franke, Raimo; Overwin, Heike; Häussler, Susanne; Brönstrup, Mark; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (ASM, 2021-07-13)
      The design of novel antibiotics relies on a profound understanding of their mechanism of action. While it has been shown that cellular effects of antibiotics cluster according to their molecular targets, we investigated whether compounds binding to different sites of the same target can be differentiated by their transcriptome or metabolome signatures. The effects of three fluoroquinolones, two aminocoumarins, and two cystobactamids, all inhibiting bacterial gyrase, on Pseudomonas aeruginosa at subinhibitory concentrations could be distinguished clearly by RNA sequencing as well as metabolomics. We observed a strong (2.8- to 212-fold) induction of autolysis-triggering pyocins in all gyrase inhibitors, which correlated with extracellular DNA (eDNA) release. Gyrase B-binding aminocoumarins induced the most pronounced changes, including a strong downregulation of phenazine and rhamnolipid virulence factors. Cystobactamids led to a downregulation of a glucose catabolism pathway. The study implies that clustering cellular mechanisms of action according to the primary target needs to take class-dependent variances into account. IMPORTANCE Novel antibiotics are urgently needed to tackle the growing worldwide problem of antimicrobial resistance. Bacterial pathogens possess few privileged targets for a successful therapy: the majority of existing antibiotics as well as current candidates in development target the complex bacterial machinery for cell wall synthesis, protein synthesis, or DNA replication. An important mechanistic question addressed by this study is whether inhibiting such a complex target at different sites with different compounds has similar or differentiated cellular consequences. Using transcriptomics and metabolomics, we demonstrate that three different classes of gyrase inhibitors can be distinguished by their molecular signatures in P. aeruginosa. We describe the cellular effects of a promising, recently identified gyrase inhibitor class, the cystobactamids, in comparison to those of the established gyrase A-binding fluoroquinolones and the gyrase B-binding aminocoumarins. The study results have implications for mode-of-action discovery approaches based on target-specific reference compounds, as they highlight the intraclass variability of cellular compound effects.