Recent Submissions

  • Bacteria as genetically programmable producers of bioactive natural products

    Hug, Joachim J.; Krug, Daniel; Müller, Rolf (2020-04-01)
  • Characteristics of Genome of Bacillus velezensis ONU 553 Strain Isolated from the Bottom Sediments of the Black Sea

    Shtenikov, M.D.; Ostapchuk, A.M.; Vasylieva, N.Y.; Luzhetskyy, A.M.; Rückert, C.; Kalinowski, J.; Ivanytsia, V.О. (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Co. LTD Ukrinformnauka), 2020-06-17)
  • Microbial chassis engineering drives heterologous production of complex secondary metabolites

    Liu, Jiaqi; Wang, Xue; Dai, Guangzhi; Zhang, Youming; Bian, Xiaoying; a Helmholtz International Lab for Anti-Infectives, Shandong University-Helmholtz Institute of Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Shandong University, Shandong, Qingdao, 266237, China b Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Saarland University, Campus E8 1, Saarbrücken, 66123, Germany (Elsevier, 2022-04-26)
    The cryptic secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) far outnumber currently known secondary metabolites. Heterologous production of secondary metabolite BGCs in suitable chassis facilitates yield improvement and discovery of new-to-nature compounds. The two juxtaposed conventional model microorganisms, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have been harnessed as microbial chassis to produce a bounty of secondary metabolites with the help of certain host engineering. In last decade, engineering non-model microbes to efficiently biosynthesize secondary metabolites has received increasing attention due to their peculiar advantages in metabolic networks and/or biosynthesis. The state-of-the-art synthetic biology tools lead the way in operating genetic manipulation in non-model microorganisms for phenotypic optimization or yields improvement of desired secondary metabolites. In this review, we firstly discuss the pros and cons of several model and non-model microbial chassis, as well as the importance of developing broader non-model microorganisms as alternative programmable heterologous hosts to satisfy the desperate needs of biosynthesis study and industrial production. Then we highlight the lately advances in the synthetic biology tools and engineering strategies for optimization of non-model microbial chassis, in particular, the successful applications for efficient heterologous production of multifarious complex secondary metabolites, e.g., polyketides, nonribosomal peptides, as well as ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides. Lastly, emphasis is on the perspectives of chassis cells development to access the ideal cell factory in the artificial intelligence-driven genome era. © 2022 Elsevier Inc.
  • Dual-function chromogenic screening-based CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system for actinomycetes.

    Wang, Qiushui; Xie, Feng; Tong, Yaojun; Habisch, Rebecca; Yang, Bowen; Zhang, Lixin; Müller, Rolf; Fu, Chengzhang (2019-12-02)
  • Total In Vitro Biosynthesis of the Thioamitide Thioholgamide and Investigation of the Pathway.

    Sikandar, Asfandyar; Lopatniuk, Maria; Luzhetskyy, Andriy; Müller, Rolf; Koehnke, Jesko; Department of Microbial Natural Products (MINS), Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI), Department of Pharmacy, Saarland University (UdS), Campus E8.1, Saarbrücken, 66123, GermanyDepartment of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, 66123, GermanyGerman Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner Site Hannover-Braunschweig, Braunschweig, 38124, GermanyWorkgroup Structural Biology of Biosynthetic Enzymes, HIPS, HZI, UdS, Saarbrücken, 66123, GermanySchool of Chemistry, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, United Kingdom (ACS/ American Chemical Society, 2022-03-09)
    Thioholgamides are ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs), with potent activity against cancerous cell lines and an unprecedented structure. Despite being one of the most structurally and chemically complex RiPPs, very few biosynthetic steps have been elucidated. Here, we report the complete in vitro reconstitution of the biosynthetic pathway. We demonstrate that thioamidation is the first step and acts as a gatekeeper for downstream processing. Thr dehydration follows thioamidation, and our studies reveal that both these modifications require the formation of protein complexes─ThoH/I and ThoC/D. Harnessing the power of AlphaFold, we deduce that ThoD acts as a lyase and also proposes putative catalytic residues. ThoF catalyzes the oxidative decarboxylation of the terminal Cys, and the subsequent macrocyclization is facilitated by ThoE. This is followed by Ser dehydration, which is also carried out by ThoC/D. ThoG is responsible for histidine bis-N-methylation, which is a prerequisite for His β-hydroxylation─a modification carried out by ThoJ. The last step of the pathway is the removal of the leader peptide by ThoK to afford mature thioholgamide.
  • Novel 2,4-disubstituted quinazoline analogs as antibacterial agents with improved cytotoxicity profile: Modification of the benzenoid part.

    Megahed, Sarah H; Rasheed, Sari; Herrmann, Jennifer; El-Hossary, Ebaa M; El-Shabrawy, Yahia I; Abadi, Ashraf H; Engel, Matthias; Müller, Rolf; Abdel-Halim, Mohammad; Hamed, Mostafa M; et al. (Elsevier Ltd., 2022-01-07)
    Bacterial resistance to currently used antibiotics demands the development of novel antibacterial agents with good safety margins and sufficient efficacy against multi-drug resistant isolates. We have previously described the synthesis of N-butyl-2-(butylthio)quinazolin-4-amine (I) as an optimized hit with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity and low cytotoxicity. In addition, we have identified a potential growing vector for this series of compounds. Herein, we describe further hit optimization which includes systematic diversifications of both the benzenoid part and the substituents at position 6 and 7 of compound I. Growing of the molecule beside the core modifications yielded several compounds with remarkable anti(myco)bacterial activity against a panel of pathogenic bacteria, including drug-resistant strains. Compound 12 showed a 2-4 fold improvement in activity than I against S. aureus Newman, S. pneumoniae DSM-20566 and E. faecalis DSM-20478. The compounds also showed a good safety profile towards human HepG2 cells.
  • New Deoxyenhygrolides from Provide Insights into Butenolide Core Biosynthesis.

    Hug, Joachim J; Kjaerulff, Louise; Garcia, Ronald; Müller, Rolf; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (MDPI, 2022-01-14)
    Marine myxobacteria present a virtually unexploited reservoir for the discovery of natural products with diverse biological functions and novel chemical scaffolds. We report here the isolation and structure elucidation of eight new deoxyenhygrolides (1-8) from the marine myxobacterium Plesiocystis pacifica DSM 14875T. The herein described deoxyenhygrolides C-J (1-8) feature a butenolide core with an ethyl residue at C-3 of the γ-lactone in contrast to the previously described derivatives, deoxyenhygrolides A and B, which feature an isobutyl residue at this position. The butenolide core is 2,4-substituted with a benzyl (1, 2 and 7), benzoyl (3 and 4) or benzyl alcohol (5, 6 and 8) moiety in the 2-position and a benzylidene (1-6) or benzylic hemiketal (7 and 8) in the 4-position. The description of these new deoxyenhygrolide derivatives, alongside genomic in silico investigation regarding putative biosynthetic genes, provides some new puzzle pieces on how this natural product class might be formed by marine myxobacteria.
  • IgG seroprevalence of COVID-19 among people living with HIV or at high risk of HIV in south-west Germany: A seroprevalence study.

    Kaddu-Mulindwa, Dominic; Keuser, Lukas; Lesan, Vadim; Rissland, Jürgen; Smola, Sigrun; Werdecker, Victoria; Stilgenbauer, Stephan; Christofyllakis, Konstantinos; Thurner, Lorenz; Bewarder, Moritz; et al. (John Wiley & Sons LTD, 2021-11-22)
    Objectives: Seroprevalence studies of SARS-CoV-2 have shown that there is a high number of undiagnosed missing cases. Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in people living with HIV (PLWH) is lacking. Therefore, we conducted a prospective cross-sectional study to estimate the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 among PLWH without known diagnosis of COVID-19 in the south-west of Germany. Methods: Serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies based on two assays was performed in PLWH who visited the outpatient HIV centre of two hospitals from April to June 2020. Additionally, patients had to answer questionnaires about possible COVID-19-related symptoms and predefined risk factors. Moreover, we tested 50 non-HIV-infected patients receiving post- or pre-exposure (PEP/PrEP) HIV prophylaxis. Results: In all, 594 (488 male, 106 female) PLWH (median age 51 years) and 50 PEP/PrEP-users were included in the study. The estimated seroprevalence of the PLWH cohort was 1.85% (11/594), with 11 positive tested cases in the cohort. Among all patients, only five had COVID-19-related symptoms. One PCR-positive patient did not show any antibody response in repeatedly carried out tests. None of the patients was hospitalized due to COVID-19. Three PrEP users were tested positive. Three patients had been previously diagnosed with SARS-COV-2 infection before inclusion. The used questionnaire did not help to detect SARS-CoV-2 positive patients.
  • Single-cell transcriptional profiling of splenic fibroblasts reveals subset-specific innate immune signatures in homeostasis and during viral infection.

    Pezoldt, Joern; Wiechers, Carolin; Erhard, Florian; Rand, Ulfert; Bulat, Tanja; Beckstette, Michael; Brendolan, Andrea; Huehn, Jochen; Kalinke, Ulrich; Mueller, Mathias; et al. (NPG, 2021-12-02)
    Our understanding of the composition and functions of splenic stromal cells remains incomplete. Here, based on analysis of over 20,000 single cell transcriptomes of splenic fibroblasts, we characterized the phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of these cells in healthy state and during virus infection. We describe eleven transcriptionally distinct fibroblastic cell clusters, reassuring known subsets and revealing yet unascertained heterogeneity amongst fibroblasts occupying diverse splenic niches. We further identify striking differences in innate immune signatures of distinct stromal compartments in vivo. Compared to other fibroblasts and to endothelial cells, Ly6C+ fibroblasts of the red pulp were selectively endowed with enhanced interferon-stimulated gene expression in homeostasis, upon systemic interferon stimulation and during virus infection in vivo. Collectively, we provide an updated map of fibroblastic cell diversity in the spleen that suggests a specialized innate immune function for splenic red pulp fibroblasts.
  • Dysregulated Immunometabolism Is Associated with the Generation of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Staphylococcus aureus Chronic Infection.

    Dietrich, Oliver; Heinz, Alexander; Goldmann, Oliver; Geffers, Robert; Beineke, Andreas; Hiller, Karsten; Saliba, Antoine-Emmanuel; Medina, Eva; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (Karger, 2021-11-11)
    Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a compendium of immature myeloid cells that exhibit potent T-cell suppressive capacity and expand during pathological conditions such as cancer and chronic infections. Although well-characterized in cancer, the physiology of MDSCs in the infection setting remains enigmatic. Here, we integrated single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) and functional metabolic profiling to gain deeper insights into the factors governing the generation and maintenance of MDSCs in chronic Staphylococcus aureus infection. We found that MDSCs originate not only in the bone marrow but also at extramedullary sites in S. aureus-infected mice. scRNA-seq showed that infection-driven MDSCs encompass a spectrum of myeloid precursors in different stages of differentiation, ranging from promyelocytes to mature neutrophils. Furthermore, the scRNA-seq analysis has also uncovered valuable phenotypic markers to distinguish mature myeloid cells from immature MDSCs. Metabolic profiling indicates that MDSCs exhibit high glycolytic activity and high glucose consumption rates, which are required for undergoing terminal maturation. However, rapid glucose consumption by MDSCs added to infection-induced perturbations in the glucose supplies in infected mice hinders the terminal maturation of MDSCs and promotes their accumulation in an immature stage. In a proof-of-concept in vivo experiment, we demonstrate the beneficial effect of increasing glucose availability in promoting MDSC terminal differentiation in infected mice. Our results provide valuable information of how metabolic alterations induced by infection influence reprogramming and differentiation of MDSCs.
  • New Kendomycin Derivative Isolated from sp. Cl 58-27.

    Paulus, Constanze; Gromyko, Oleksandr; Luzhetskyy, Andriy; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-11-12)
    In the course of screening new streptomycete strains, the strain Streptomyces sp. Cl 58-27 caught our attention due to its interesting secondary metabolite production profile. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of an ansamycin natural product that belongs structurally to the already known kendomycins. The structure of the new kendomycin E was elucidated using NMR spectroscopy, and the corresponding biosynthetic gene cluster was identified by sequencing the genome of Streptomyces sp. Cl 58-27 and conducting a detailed analysis of secondary metabolism gene clusters using bioinformatic tools.
  • A Promiscuous Halogenase for the Derivatization of Flavonoids.

    Kolling, Dominik; Stierhof, Marc; Lasch, Constanze; Myronovskyi, Maksym; Luzhetskyy, Andriy; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-10-14)
    Halogenation often improves the bioactive properties of natural products and is used in pharmaceutical research for the generation of new potential drug leads. High regio- and stereospecificity, simple reaction conditions and straightforward downstream processing are the main advantages of halogenation using enzymatic biocatalysts compared to chemical synthetic approaches. The identification of new promiscuous halogenases for the modification of various natural products is of great interest in modern drug discovery. In this paper, we report the identification of a new promiscuous FAD-dependent halogenase, DklH, from Frankia alni ACN14a. The identified halogenase readily modifies various flavonoid compounds, including those with well-studied biological activities. This halogenase has been demonstrated to modify not only flavones and isoflavones, but also flavonols, flavanones and flavanonols. The structural requirements for DklH substrate recognition were determined using a feeding approach. The homology model of DklH and the mechanism of substrate recognition are also proposed in this paper.
  • Biotechnological production optimization of argyrins - a potent immunomodulatory natural product class.

    Pogorevc, Domen; Müller, Rolf; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (John Wiley & Sons LTD, 2021-11-01)
    Argyrins represent a family of cyclic octapeptides exhibiting promising immunomodulatory activity via inhibiting mitochondrial protein synthesis, which leads to reduced IL-17 production by the T-helper 17 cells. Argyrins are formed by a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS), originating from the myxobacterial producer strains Archangium gephyra Ar8082 and Cystobacter sp. SBCb004. In this work, a previously established heterologous production platform was employed to provide evidence of direct D-configured amino acid incorporation by the argyrin assembly line. An adenylation domain of the argyrin NRPS was characterized and shown to have a high preference for D-configured amino acids. Eight novel argyrin derivatives were generated via biosynthetic engineering of the heterologous production system. The system was also optimized to enable formation of methylated argyrin C and D derivatives with improved immunosuppressive activity compared with their unmethylated counterparts. Furthermore, the optimization of cultivation conditions allowed exclusive production of one major derivative at a time, drastically improving the purification process. Importantly, engineering of transcription and translation initiation resulted in a substantially improved production titre reaching 350-400 mg l-1 . The optimized system presented herein thus provides a versatile platform for production of this promising class of immunosuppressants at a scale that should provide sufficient supply for upcoming pre-clinical development.
  • Distinct Patterns of Blood Cytokines Beyond a Cytokine Storm Predict Mortality in COVID-19.

    Herr, Christian; Mang, Sebastian; Mozafari, Bahareh; Guenther, Katharina; Speer, Thimoteus; Seibert, Martina; Srikakulam, Sanjay Kumar; Beisswenger, Christoph; Ritzmann, Felix; Keller, Andreas; et al. (Dove Press, 2021-09-15)
    Background: COVID-19 comprises several severity stages ranging from oligosymptomatic disease to multi-organ failure and fatal outcomes. The mechanisms why COVID-19 is a mild disease in some patients and progresses to a severe multi-organ and often fatal disease with respiratory failure are not known. Biomarkers that predict the course of disease are urgently needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate a large spectrum of established laboratory measurements. Patients and methods: Patients from the prospective PULMPOHOM and CORSAAR studies were recruited and comprised 35 patients with COVID-19, 23 with conventional pneumonia, and 28 control patients undergoing elective non-pulmonary surgery. Venous blood was used to measure the serum concentrations of 79 proteins by Luminex multiplex immunoassay technology. Distribution of biomarkers between groups and association with disease severity and outcomes were analyzed. Results: The biomarker profiles between the three groups differed significantly with elevation of specific proteins specific for the respective conditions. Several biomarkers correlated significantly with disease severity and death. Uniform manifold approximation and projection (UMAP) analysis revealed a significant separation of the three disease groups and separated between survivors and deceased patients. Different models were developed to predict mortality based on the baseline measurements of several protein markers. A score combining IL-1ra, IL-8, IL-10, MCP-1, SCF and CA-9 was associated with significantly higher mortality (AUC 0.929). Discussion: Several newly identified blood markers were significantly increased in patients with severe COVID-19 (AAT, EN-RAGE, myoglobin, SAP, TIMP-1, vWF, decorin) or in patients that died (IL-1ra, IL-8, IL-10, MCP-1, SCF, CA-9). The use of established assay technologies allows for rapid translation into clinical practice.
  • Epistatic interactions promote persistence of NS3-Q80K in HCV infection by compensating for protein folding instability.

    Dultz, Georg; Srikakulam, Sanjay K; Konetschnik, Michael; Shimakami, Tetsuro; Doncheva, Nadezhda T; Dietz, Julia; Sarrazin, Christoph; Biondi, Ricardo M; Zeuzem, Stefan; Tampé, Robert; et al. (Elsevier, 2021-07-31)
    The Q80K polymorphism in the NS3-4A protease of the hepatitis C virus is associated with treatment failure of direct-acting antiviral agents. This polymorphism is highly prevalent in genotype 1a infections and stably transmitted between hosts. Here, we investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of evolutionarily conserved coevolving amino acids in NS3-Q80K and revealed potential implications of epistatic interactions in immune escape and variants persistence. Using purified protein, we characterized the impact of epistatic amino acid substitutions on the physicochemical properties and peptide cleavage kinetics of the NS3-Q80K protease. We found that Q80K destabilized the protease protein fold (p < 0.0001). Although NS3-Q80K showed reduced peptide substrate turnover (p < 0.0002), replicative fitness in an H77S.3 cell culture model of infection was not significantly inferior to the WT virus. Epistatic substitutions at residues 91 and 174 in NS3-Q80K stabilized the protein fold (p < 0.0001) and leveraged the WT protease stability. However, changes in protease stability inversely correlated with enzymatic activity. In infectious cell culture, these secondary substitutions were not associated with a gain of replicative fitness in NS3-Q80K variants. Using molecular dynamics, we observed that the total number of residue contacts in NS3-Q80K mutants correlated with protein folding stability. Changes in the number of contacts reflected the compensatory effect on protein folding instability by epistatic substitutions. In summary, epistatic substitutions in NS3-Q80K contribute to viral fitness by mechanisms not directly related to RNA replication. By compensating for protein-folding instability, epistatic interactions likely protect NS3-Q80K variants from immune cell recognition.
  • The diversity and antibacterial activity of culturable actinobacteria isolated from the rhizosphere soil of Deschampsia antarctica (Galindez Island, Maritime Antarctic)

    Tistechok, Stepan; Skvortsova, Maryna; Mytsyk, Yuliia; Fedorenko, Victor; Parnikoza, Ivan; Luzhetskyy, Andriy; Gromyko, Oleksandr; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Springer, 2021-09-01)
    Antarctic actinobacteria, which can be isolated from both soils and marine sediments, demonstrate a wide range of antimicrobial activities as well as significant biosynthetic potential as the producers of biologically active compounds. However, the actinobacterial diversity of the Antarctic region has not yet been sufficiently studied. The present study sought to examine the diversity and antibacterial activity of culturable actinobacteria isolated from the rhizosphere soil of Deschampsia antarctica (É. Desv.), which was collected from Galindez Island, Maritime Antarctic. Among the actinobacteria isolated using a 16S rRNA gene sequence-based phylogenetic analysis process, five genera, namely Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Umezawaea, Kribbella and Micrococcus, were identified. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to describe the isolation and initial characterisation of members of the genus Umezawaea from the Antarctic. The isolated actinobacteria were assayed to determine their activity against Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria and yeast. Among the isolated strains, only 30.2% were able to inhibit the growth of at least one of the tested pathogens. The polymerase chain reaction-based screening of the biosynthetic genes revealed the presence of type I polyketide synthases (65.1%), type II polyketide synthases (25.6%) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (9.3%) in the actinobacteria strains. The examination of the sensitivity/resistance to antibiotics profile of the actinobacteria strains revealed their high sensitivity in relation to the tested antibiotics. Taken together, the results showed that Antarctic actinobacteria demonstrate potential as the producers of natural bioactive compounds, which means that they represent a valuable prospect for further studies.
  • Towards the sustainable discovery and development of new antibiotics.

    Miethke, Marcus; Pieroni, Marco; Weber, Tilmann; Brönstrup, Mark; Hammann, Peter; Halby, Ludovic; Arimondo, Paola B; Glaser, Philippe; Aigle, Bertrand; Bode, Helge B; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-08-19)
    An ever-increasing demand for novel antimicrobials to treat life-threatening infections caused by the global spread of multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens stands in stark contrast to the current level of investment in their development, particularly in the fields of natural-product-derived and synthetic small molecules. New agents displaying innovative chemistry and modes of action are desperately needed worldwide to tackle the public health menace posed by antimicrobial resistance. Here, our consortium presents a strategic blueprint to substantially improve our ability to discover and develop new antibiotics. We propose both short-term and long-term solutions to overcome the most urgent limitations in the various sectors of research and funding, aiming to bridge the gap between academic, industrial and political stakeholders, and to unite interdisciplinary expertise in order to efficiently fuel the translational pipeline for the benefit of future generations.
  • Rational construction of genome-reduced Burkholderiales chassis facilitates efficient heterologous production of natural products from proteobacteria.

    Liu, Jiaqi; Zhou, Haibo; Yang, Zhiyu; Wang, Xue; Chen, Hanna; Zhong, Lin; Zheng, Wentao; Niu, Weijing; Wang, Sen; Ren, Xiangmei; et al. (Nature publishing group, 2021-07-23)
    Heterologous expression of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) avails yield improvements and mining of natural products, but it is limited by lacking of more efficient Gram-negative chassis. The proteobacterium Schlegelella brevitalea DSM 7029 exhibits potential for heterologous BGC expression, but its cells undergo early autolysis, hindering further applications. Herein, we rationally construct DC and DT series genome-reduced S. brevitalea mutants by sequential deletions of endogenous BGCs and the nonessential genomic regions, respectively. The DC5 to DC7 mutants affect growth, while the DT series mutants show improved growth characteristics with alleviated cell autolysis. The yield improvements of six proteobacterial natural products and successful identification of chitinimides from Chitinimonas koreensis via heterologous expression in DT mutants demonstrate their superiority to wild-type DSM 7029 and two commonly used Gram-negative chassis Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas putida. Our study expands the panel of Gram-negative chassis and facilitates the discovery of natural products by heterologous expression.
  • Cyclofaulknamycin with the Rare Amino Acid D-capreomycidine Isolated from a Well-Characterized Strain.

    Horbal, Liliya; Stierhof, Marc; Palusczak, Anja; Eckert, Nikolas; Zapp, Josef; Luzhetskyy, Andriy N; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-07-28)
    Targeted genome mining is an efficient method of biosynthetic gene cluster prioritization within constantly growing genome databases. Using two capreomycidine biosynthesis genes, alpha-ketoglutarate-dependent arginine beta-hydroxylase and pyridoxal-phosphate-dependent aminotransferase, we identified two types of clusters: one type containing both genes involved in the biosynthesis of the abovementioned moiety, and other clusters including only arginine hydroxylase. Detailed analysis of one of the clusters, the flk cluster from Streptomyces albus, led to the identification of a cyclic peptide that contains a rare D-capreomycidine moiety for the first time. The absence of the pyridoxal-phosphate-dependent aminotransferase gene in the flk cluster is compensated by the XNR_1347 gene in the S. albus genome, whose product is responsible for biosynthesis of the abovementioned nonproteinogenic amino acid. Herein, we report the structure of cyclofaulknamycin and the characteristics of its biosynthetic gene cluster, biosynthesis and bioactivity profile.
  • Bonsecamin: A New Cyclic Pentapeptide Discovered through Heterologous Expression of a Cryptic Gene Cluster.

    Lasch, Constanze; Stierhof, Marc; Estévez, Marta Rodríguez; Myronovskyi, Maksym; Zapp, Josef; Luzhetskyy, Andriy N; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-07-31)
    The intriguing structural complexity of molecules produced by natural organisms is uncontested. Natural scaffolds serve as an important basis for the development of molecules with broad applications, e.g., therapeutics or agrochemicals. Research in recent decades has demonstrated that by means of classic metabolite extraction from microbes only a small portion of natural products can be accessed. The use of genome mining and heterologous expression approaches represents a promising way to discover new natural compounds. In this paper we report the discovery of a novel cyclic pentapeptide called bonsecamin through the heterologous expression of a cryptic NRPS gene cluster from Streptomyces albus ssp. chlorinus NRRL B-24108 in Streptomyces albus Del14. The new compound was successfully isolated and structurally characterized using NMR. The minimal set of genes required for bonsecamin production was determined through bioinformatic analysis and gene deletion experiments. A biosynthetic route leading to the production of bonsecamin is proposed in this paper.

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