• Antimalarial activity of the myxobacterial macrolide chlorotonil a.

      Held, Jana; Gebru, Tamirat; Kalesse, Markus; Jansen, Rolf; Gerth, Klaus; Müller, Rolf; Mordmüller, Benjamin (2014-11)
      Myxobacteria are Gram-negative soil-dwelling bacteria belonging to the phylum Proteobacteria. They are a rich source of promising compounds for clinical application, such as epothilones for cancer therapy and several new antibiotics. In the course of a bioactivity screening program of secondary metabolites produced by Sorangium cellulosum strains, the macrolide chlorotonil A was found to exhibit promising antimalarial activity. Subsequently, we evaluated chlorotonil A against Plasmodium falciparum laboratory strains and clinical isolates from Gabon. Chlorotonil A was highly active, with a 50% inhibitory concentration between 4 and 32 nM; additionally, no correlations between the activities of chlorotonil A and artesunate (rho, 0.208) or chloroquine (rho, -0.046) were observed. Per os treatment of Plasmodium berghei-infected mice with four doses of as little as 36 mg of chlorotonil A per kg of body weight led to the suppression of parasitemia with no obvious signs of toxicity. Chlorotonil A acts against all stages of intraerythrocytic parasite development, including ring-stage parasites and stage IV to V gametocytes, and it requires only a very short exposure to the parasite to exert its antimalarial action. Conclusively, chlorotonil A has an exceptional and unprecedented profile of action and represents an urgently required novel antimalarial chemical scaffold. Therefore, we propose it as a lead structure for further development as an antimalarial chemotherapeutic.
    • Correlating chemical diversity with taxonomic distance for discovery of natural products in myxobacteria.

      Hoffmann, Thomas; Krug, Daniel; Bozkurt, Nisa; Duddela, Srikanth; Jansen, Rolf; Garcia, Ronald; Gerth, Klaus; Steinmetz, Heinrich; Müller, Rolf; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus 8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-02-23)
      Some bacterial clades are important sources of novel bioactive natural products. Estimating the magnitude of chemical diversity available from such a resource is complicated by issues including cultivability, isolation bias and limited analytical data sets. Here we perform a systematic metabolite survey of ~2300 bacterial strains of the order Myxococcales, a well-established source of natural products, using mass spectrometry. Our analysis encompasses both known and previously unidentified metabolites detected under laboratory cultivation conditions, thereby enabling large-scale comparison of production profiles in relation to myxobacterial taxonomy. We find a correlation between taxonomic distance and the production of distinct secondary metabolite families, further supporting the idea that the chances of discovering novel metabolites are greater by examining strains from new genera rather than additional representatives within the same genus. In addition, we report the discovery and structure elucidation of rowithocin, a myxobacterial secondary metabolite featuring an uncommon phosphorylated polyketide scaffold.
    • Novel expression hosts for complex secondary metabolite megasynthetases: Production of myxochromide in the thermopilic isolate Corallococcus macrosporus GT-2

      Perlova, Olena; Gerth, Klaus; Kuhlmann, Silvia; Zhang, Youming; Müller, Rolf (2009-01-06)
      Abstract Although many secondary metabolites with diverse biological activities have been isolated from myxobacteria, most strains of these biotechnologically important gliding prokaryotes remain difficult to handle genetically. In this study we describe the new fast growing myxobacterial thermophilic isolate GT-2 as a heterologous host for the expression of natural product biosynthetic pathways isolated from other myxobacteria. According to the results of sequence analysis of the 16S rDNA, this moderately thermophilic isolate is closely related to Corallococcus macrosporus and was therefore named C. macrosporus GT-2. Fast growth of moderately thermophilic strains results in shorter fermentation and generation times, aspects which are of significant interest for molecular biological work as well as production of secondary metabolites. Development of a genetic manipulation system allowed the introduction of the complete myxochromide biosynthetic gene cluster, located on a transposable fragment, into the chromosome of GT-2. Genetic engineering of the biosynthetic gene cluster by promoter exchange leads to much higher production of myxochromides in the heterologous host C. macrosporus GT-2 in comparison to the original producer Stigmatella aurantiaca and to the previously described heterologous host Pseudomonas putida (600 mg/L versus 8 mg/L and 40 mg/L, respectively).