• Biosynthesis of magnetic nanostructures in a foreign organism by transfer of bacterial magnetosome gene clusters.

      Kolinko, Isabel; Lohße, Anna; Borg, Sarah; Raschdorf, Oliver; Jogler, Christian; Tu, Qiang; Pósfai, Mihály; Tompa, Eva; Plitzko, Jürgen M; Brachmann, Andreas; et al. (2014-03)
      The synthetic production of monodisperse single magnetic domain nanoparticles at ambient temperature is challenging. In nature, magnetosomes--membrane-bound magnetic nanocrystals with unprecedented magnetic properties--can be biomineralized by magnetotactic bacteria. However, these microbes are difficult to handle. Expression of the underlying biosynthetic pathway from these fastidious microorganisms within other organisms could therefore greatly expand their nanotechnological and biomedical applications. So far, this has been hindered by the structural and genetic complexity of the magnetosome organelle and insufficient knowledge of the biosynthetic functions involved. Here, we show that the ability to biomineralize highly ordered magnetic nanostructures can be transferred to a foreign recipient. Expression of a minimal set of genes from the magnetotactic bacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense resulted in magnetosome biosynthesis within the photosynthetic model organism Rhodospirillum rubrum. Our findings will enable the sustainable production of tailored magnetic nanostructures in biotechnologically relevant hosts and represent a step towards the endogenous magnetization of various organisms by synthetic biology.
    • Direct cloning and heterologous expression of the salinomycin biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces albus DSM41398 in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2).

      Yin, Jia; Hoffmann, Michael; Bian, Xiaoying; Tu, Qiang; Yan, Fu; Xia, Liqiu; Ding, Xuezhi; Stewart, A Francis; Müller, Rolf; Fu, Jun; et al. (2015)
      Linear plus linear homologous recombination-mediated recombineering (LLHR) is ideal for obtaining natural product biosynthetic gene clusters from pre-digested bacterial genomic DNA in one or two steps of recombineering. The natural product salinomycin has a potent and selective activity against cancer stem cells and is therefore a potential anti-cancer drug. Herein, we separately isolated three fragments of the salinomycin gene cluster (salO-orf18) from Streptomyces albus (S. albus) DSM41398 using LLHR and assembled them into intact gene cluster (106 kb) by Red/ET and expressed it in the heterologous host Streptomyces coelicolor (S. coelicolor) A3(2). We are the first to report a large genomic region from a Gram-positive strain has been cloned using LLHR. The successful reconstitution and heterologous expression of the salinomycin gene cluster offer an attractive system for studying the function of the individual genes and identifying novel and potential analogues of complex natural products in the recipient strain.
    • Discovery of recombinases enables genome mining of cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters in Burkholderiales species.

      Wang, Xue; Zhou, Haibo; Chen, Hanna; Jing, Xiaoshu; Zheng, Wentao; Li, Ruijuan; Sun, Tao; Liu, Jiaqi; Fu, Jun; Huo, Liujie; et al. (2018-05-01)
      Bacterial genomes encode numerous cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that represent a largely untapped source of drugs or pesticides. Mining of the cryptic products is limited by the unavailability of streamlined genetic tools in native producers. Precise genome engineering using bacteriophage recombinases is particularly useful for genome mining. However, recombinases are usually host-specific. The genome-guided discovery of novel recombinases and their transient expression could boost cryptic BGC mining. Herein, we reported a genetic system employing Red recombinases from Burkholderiales strain DSM 7029 for efficient genome engineering in several Burkholderiales species that currently lack effective genetic tools. Using specialized recombinases-assisted in situ insertion of functional promoters, we successfully mined five cryptic nonribosomal peptide synthetase/polyketide synthase BGCs, two of which were silent. Two classes of lipopeptides, glidopeptins and rhizomides, were identified through extensive spectroscopic characterization. This recombinase expression strategy offers utility within other bacteria species, allowing bioprospecting for potentially scalable discovery of novel metabolites with attractive bioactivities.
    • ExoCET: exonuclease in vitro assembly combined with RecET recombination for highly efficient direct DNA cloning from complex genomes.

      Wang, Hailong; Li, Zhen; Jia, Ruonan; Yin, Jia; Li, Aiying; Xia, Liqiu; Yin, Yulong; Müller, Rolf; Fu, Jun; Stewart, A Francis; et al. (2017-12-12)
      The exponentially increasing volumes of DNA sequence data highlight the need for new DNA cloning methods to explore the new information. Here, we describe 'ExoCET' (Exonuclease Combined with RecET recombination) to directly clone any chosen region from bacterial and mammalian genomes with nucleotide precision into operational plasmids. ExoCET combines in vitro exonuclease and annealing with the remarkable capacity of full length RecET homologous recombination (HR) to retrieve specified regions from genomic DNA preparations. Using T4 polymerase (T4pol) as the in vitro exonuclease for ExoCET, we directly cloned large regions (>50 kb) from bacterial and mammalian genomes, including DNA isolated from blood. Employing RecET HR or Cas9 cleavage in vitro, the directly cloned region can be chosen with nucleotide precision to position, for example, a gene into an expression vector without the need for further subcloning. In addition to its utility for bioprospecting in bacterial genomes, ExoCET presents straightforward access to mammalian genomes for various applications such as region-specific DNA sequencing that retains haplotype phasing, the rapid construction of optimal, haplotypic, isogenic targeting constructs or a new way to genotype that presents advantages over Southern blotting or polymerase chain reaction. The direct cloning capacities of ExoCET present new freedoms in recombinant DNA technology.
    • ExoCET: exonuclease in vitro assembly combined with RecET recombination for highly efficient direct DNA cloning from complex genomes. (Erratum)

      Wang, Hailong; Li, Zhen; Jia, Ruonan; Yin, Jia; Li, Aiying; Xia, Liqiu; Yin, Yulong; Müller, Rolf; Fu, Jun; Stewart, A Francis; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2018-03-16)
      The exponentially increasing volumes of DNA sequence data highlight the need for new DNA cloning methods to explore the new information. Here, we describe ‘ExoCET’ (Exonuclease Combined with RecET recombination) to directly clone any chosen region from bacterial and mammalian genomes with nucleotide precision into operational plasmids. ExoCET combines in vitro exonuclease and annealing with the remarkable capacity of full length RecET homologous recombination (HR) to retrieve specified regions from genomic DNA preparations. Using T4 polymerase (T4pol) as the in vitro exonuclease for ExoCET, we directly cloned large regions (>50 kb) from bacterial and mammalian genomes, including DNA isolated from blood. Employing RecET HR or Cas9 cleavage in vitro, the directly cloned region can be chosen with nucleotide precision to position, for example, a gene into an expression vector without the need for further subcloning. In addition to its utility for bioprospecting in bacterial genomes, ExoCET presents straightforward access to mammalian genomes for various applications such as region-specific DNA sequencing that retains haplotype phasing, the rapid construction of optimal, haplotypic, isogenic targeting constructs or a new way to genotype that presents advantages over Southern blotting or polymerase chain reaction. The direct cloning capacities of ExoCET present new freedoms in recombinant DNA technology.
    • Genetic engineering and heterologous expression of the disorazol biosynthetic gene cluster via Red/ET recombineering.

      Tu, Qiang; Herrmann, Jennifer; Hu, Shengbiao; Raju, Ritesh; Bian, Xiaoying; Zhang, Youming; Müller, Rolf; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS),Saarland 9 University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2016)
      Disorazol, a macrocyclic polykitide produced by the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum So ce12 and it is reported to have potential cytotoxic activity towards several cancer cell lines, including multi-drug resistant cells. The disorazol biosynthetic gene cluster (dis) from Sorangium cellulosum (So ce12) was identified by transposon mutagenesis and cloned in a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library. The 58-kb dis core gene cluster was reconstituted from BACs via Red/ET recombineering and expressed in Myxococcus xanthus DK1622. For the first time ever, a myxobacterial trans-AT polyketide synthase has been expressed heterologously in this study. Expression in M. xanthus allowed us to optimize the yield of several biosynthetic products using promoter engineering. The insertion of an artificial synthetic promoter upstream of the disD gene encoding a discrete acyl transferase (AT), together with an oxidoreductase (Or), resulted in 7-fold increase in disorazol production. The successful reconstitution and expression of the genetic sequences encoding for these promising cytotoxic compounds will allow combinatorial biosynthesis to generate novel disorazol derivatives for further bioactivity evaluation.
    • 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).
    • Overproduction of Magnetosomes by Genomic Amplification of Biosynthesis-Related Gene Clusters in a Magnetotactic Bacterium.

      Lohße, Anna; Kolinko, Isabel; Raschdorf, Oliver; Uebe, René; Borg, Sarah; Brachmann, Andreas; Plitzko, Jürgen M; Müller, Rolf; Zhang, Youming; Schüler, Dirk; et al. (2016-05-15)
      Magnetotactic bacteria biosynthesize specific organelles, the magnetosomes, which are membrane-enclosed crystals of a magnetic iron mineral that are aligned in a linear chain. The number and size of magnetosome particles have to be critically controlled to build a sensor sufficiently strong to ensure the efficient alignment of cells within Earth's weak magnetic field while at the same time minimizing the metabolic costs imposed by excessive magnetosome biosynthesis. Apart from their biological function, bacterial magnetosomes have gained considerable interest since they provide a highly useful model for prokaryotic organelle formation and represent biogenic magnetic nanoparticles with exceptional properties. However, potential applications have been hampered by the difficult cultivation of these fastidious bacteria and their poor yields of magnetosomes. In this study, we found that the size and number of magnetosomes within the cell are controlled by many different Mam and Mms proteins. We present a strategy for the overexpression of magnetosome biosynthesis genes in the alphaproteobacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense by chromosomal multiplication of individual and multiple magnetosome gene clusters via transposition. While stepwise amplification of the mms6 operon resulted in the formation of increasingly larger crystals (increase of ∼35%), the duplication of all major magnetosome operons (mamGFDC, mamAB, mms6, and mamXY, comprising 29 genes in total) yielded an overproducing strain in which magnetosome numbers were 2.2-fold increased. We demonstrate that the tuned expression of the mam and mms clusters provides a powerful strategy for the control of magnetosome size and number, thereby setting the stage for high-yield production of tailored magnetic nanoparticles by synthetic biology approaches.
    • Room temperature electrocompetent bacterial cells improve DNA transformation and recombineering efficiency.

      Tu, Qiang; Yin, Jia; Fu, Jun; Herrmann, Jennifer; Li, Yuezhong; Yin, Yulong; Stewart, A Francis; Müller, Rolf; Zhang, Youming; Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS),Saarland 9 University, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2016)
      Bacterial competent cells are essential for cloning, construction of DNA libraries, and mutagenesis in every molecular biology laboratory. Among various transformation methods, electroporation is found to own the best transformation efficiency. Previous electroporation methods are based on washing and electroporating the bacterial cells in ice-cold condition that make them fragile and prone to death. Here we present simple temperature shift based methods that improve DNA transformation and recombineering efficiency in E. coli and several other gram-negative bacteria thereby economizing time and cost. Increased transformation efficiency of large DNA molecules is a significant advantage that might facilitate the cloning of large fragments from genomic DNA preparations and metagenomics samples.