• N-Acylated amino acid methyl esters from marine group bacteria.

      Bruns, Hilke; Ziesche, Lisa; Taniwal, Nargis Khakin; Wolter, Laura; Brinkhoff, Thorsten; Herrmann, Jennifer; Müller, Rolf; Schulz, Stefan; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Beilstein Institut, 2018-01-01)
      The human gut microbiome matures towards the adult composition during the first years of life and is implicated in early immune development. Here, we investigate the effects of microbial genomic diversity on gut microbiome development using integrated early childhood data sets collected in the DIABIMMUNE study in Finland, Estonia and Russian Karelia. We show that gut microbial diversity is associated with household location and linear growth of children. Single nucleotide polymorphism- and metagenomic assembly-based strain tracking revealed large and highly dynamic microbial pangenomes, especially in the genus Bacteroides, in which we identified evidence of variability deriving from Bacteroides-targeting bacteriophages. Our analyses revealed functional consequences of strain diversity; only 10% of Finnish infants harboured Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis, a subspecies specialized in human milk metabolism, whereas Russian infants commonly maintained a probiotic Bifidobacterium bifidum strain in infancy. Groups of bacteria contributing to diverse, characterized metabolic pathways converged to highly subject-specific configurations over the first two years of life. This longitudinal study extends the current view of early gut microbial community assembly based on strain-level genomic variation.
    • The natural product carolacton inhibits folate-dependent C1 metabolism by targeting FolD/MTHFD.

      Fu, Chengzhang; Sikandar, Asfandyar; Donner, Jannik; Zaburannyi, Nestor; Herrmann, Jennifer; Reck, Michael; Wagner-Döbler, Irene; Koehnke, Jesko; Müller, Rolf; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-11-16)
      The natural product carolacton is a macrolide keto-carboxylic acid produced by the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum, and was originally described as an antibacterial compound. Here we show that carolacton targets FolD, a key enzyme from the folate-dependent C1 metabolism. We characterize the interaction between bacterial FolD and carolacton biophysically, structurally and biochemically. Carolacton binds FolD with nanomolar affinity, and the crystal structure of the FolD-carolacton complex reveals the mode of binding. We show that the human FolD orthologs, MTHFD1 and MTHFD2, are also inhibited in the low nM range, and that micromolar concentrations of carolacton inhibit the growth of cancer cell lines. As mitochondrial MTHFD2 is known to be upregulated in cancer cells, it may be possible to use carolacton as an inhibitor tool compound to assess MTHFD2 as an anti-cancer target.
    • Natural Products Impacting DNA Methyltransferases and Histone Deacetylases.

      Akone, Sergi Herve; Ntie-Kang, Fidele; Stuhldreier, Fabian; Ewonkem, Monique Bassomo; Noah, Alexandre Mboene; Mouelle, Simon Eitel Misse; Müller, Rolf; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Frontiers, 2020-08-13)
      Epigenetics refers to heritable changes in gene expression and chromatin structure without change in a DNA sequence. Several epigenetic modifications and respective regulators have been reported. These include DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, histone post-translational modifications, and non-coding RNAs. Emerging evidence has revealed that epigenetic dysregulations are involved in a wide range of diseases including cancers. Therefore, the reversible nature of epigenetic modifications concerning activation or inhibition of enzymes involved could be promising targets and useful tools for the elucidation of cellular and biological phenomena. In this review, emphasis is laid on natural products that inhibit DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) making them promising candidates for the development of lead structures for anticancer-drugs targeting epigenetic modifications. However, most of the natural products targeting HDAC and/or DNMT lack isoform selectivity, which is important for determining their potential use as therapeutic agents. Nevertheless, the structures presented in this review offer the well-founded basis that screening and chemical modifications of natural products will in future provide not only leads to the identification of more specific inhibitors with fewer side effects, but also important features for the elucidation of HDAC and DNMT function with respect to cancer treatment.
    • Neither black nor white: do altered intestinal microbiota reflect chronic liver disease severity?

      Goeser, Felix; Münch, Philipp; Lesker, Till Robin; Lutz, Philipp Ludwig; Krämer, Benjamin; Kaczmarek, Dominik J; Finnemann, Claudia; Nischalke, Hans Dieter; Geffers, Robert; Parcina, Marijo; et al. (BMJ publishing group, 2020-06-05)
      No abstract available
    • 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).
    • Optimization of the biotechnological production of a novel class of anti-MRSA antibiotics from Chitinophaga sancti.

      Beckmann, Amelie; Hüttel, Stephan; Schmitt, Viktoria; Müller, Rolf; Stadler, Marc; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017-08-17)
      Recently, the discovery of the elansolids, a group of macrolides, was reported. The molecules show activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as well as other gram-positive organisms. This fact renders those substances a promising starting point for future chemical development. The active atropisomers A1/A2 are formed by macrolactonization of the biosynthesis product A3 but are prone to ring opening and subsequent formation of several unwanted side products. Recently it could be shown that addition of different nucleophiles to culture extracts of Chitinophaga sancti enable the formation of new stable elansolid derivatives. Furthermore, addition of such a nucleophile directly into the culture led exclusively to formation of a single active elansolid derivative. Due to low product yields, methods for production of gram amounts of these molecules have to be established to enable further development of this promising compound class.
    • 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.
    • Perquinolines A-C: Unprecedented Bacterial Tetrahydroisoquinolines Involving an Intriguing Biosynthesis.

      Rebets, Yuriy; Nadmid, Suvd; Paulus, Constanze; Dahlem, Charlotte; Herrmann, Jennifer; Hübner, Harald; Rückert, Christian; Kiemer, Alexandra K; Gmeiner, Peter; Kalinowski, Jörn; et al. (Wiley, 2019-08-21)
      Autophagy, a membrane-dependent catabolic process, ensures survival of aging cells and depends on the cellular energetic status. Acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (Acc1) connects central energy metabolism to lipid biosynthesis and is rate-limiting for the de novo synthesis of lipids. However, it is unclear how de novo lipogenesis and its metabolic consequences affect autophagic activity. Here, we show that in aging yeast, autophagy levels highly depend on the activity of Acc1. Constitutively active Acc1 (acc1S/A ) or a deletion of the Acc1 negative regulator, Snf1 (yeast AMPK), shows elevated autophagy levels, which can be reversed by the Acc1 inhibitor soraphen A. Vice versa, pharmacological inhibition of Acc1 drastically reduces cell survival and results in the accumulation of Atg8-positive structures at the vacuolar membrane, suggesting late defects in the autophagic cascade. As expected, acc1S/A cells exhibit a reduction in acetate/acetyl-CoA availability along with elevated cellular lipid content. However, concomitant administration of acetate fails to fully revert the increase in autophagy exerted by acc1S/A Instead, administration of oleate, while mimicking constitutively active Acc1 in WT cells, alleviates the vacuolar fusion defects induced by Acc1 inhibition. Our results argue for a largely lipid-dependent process of autophagy regulation downstream of Acc1. We present a versatile genetic model to investigate the complex relationship between acetate metabolism, lipid homeostasis, and autophagy and propose Acc1-dependent lipogenesis as a fundamental metabolic path downstream of Snf1 to maintain autophagy and survival during cellular aging.
    • Pharmacological targeting of membrane rigidity: implications on cancer cell migration and invasion

      Braig, Simone; Sebastian Schmidt, B U; Stoiber, Katharina; Händel, Chris; Möhn, Till; Werz, Oliver; Müller, Rolf; Zahler, Stefan; Koeberle, Andreas; Käs, Josef A; et al. (2015-08-05)
    • PLGA nanocapsules improve the delivery of clarithromycin to kill intracellular Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium abscessus.

      Anversa Dimer, Frantiescoli; de Souza Carvalho-Wodarz, Cristiane; Goes, Adriely; Cirnski, Katarina; Herrmann, Jennifer; Schmitt, Viktoria; Pätzold, Linda; Abed, Nadia; de Rossi, Chiara; Bischoff, Markus; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-11-18)
      Drug delivery systems are promising for targeting antibiotics directly to infected tissues. To reach intracellular Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium abscessus, we encapsulated clarithromycin in PLGA nanocapsules, suitable for aerosol delivery by nebulization of an aqueous dispersion. Compared to the same dose of free clarithromycin, nanoencapsulation reduced 1000 times the number of intracellular S. aureus in vitro. In RAW cells, while untreated S. aureus was located in acidic compartments, the treated ones were mostly situated in non-acidic compartments. Clarithromycin-nanocapsules were also effective against M. abscessus (70-80% killing efficacy). The activity of clarithromycin-nanocapsules against S. aureus was also confirmed in vivo, using a murine wound model as well as in zebrafish. The permeability of clarithromycin-nanocapsules across Calu-3 monolayers increased in comparison to the free drug, suggesting an improved delivery to sub-epithelial tissues. Thus, clarithromycin-nanocapsules are a promising strategy to target intracellular S. aureus and M. abscessus.
    • Polyunsaturated fatty acid production by Yarrowia lipolytica employing designed myxobacterial PUFA synthases.

      Gemperlein, Katja; Dietrich, Demian; Kohlstedt, Michael; Zipf, Gregor; Bernauer, Hubert S; Wittmann, Christoph; Wenzel, Silke C; Müller, Rolf; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Nature publishing Group, 2019-09-06)
      Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs), particularly the omega-3 LC-PUFAs eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), have been associated with beneficial health effects. Consequently, sustainable sources have to be developed to meet the increasing demand for these PUFAs. Here, we demonstrate the design and construction of artificial PUFA biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) encoding polyketide synthase-like PUFA synthases from myxobacteria adapted for the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica. Genomic integration and heterologous expression of unmodified or hybrid PUFA BGCs yielded different yeast strains with specific LC-PUFA production profiles at promising yield and thus valuable for the biotechnological production of distinct PUFAs. Nutrient screening revealed a strong enhancement of PUFA production, when cells were phosphate limited. This represents, to the best of our knowledge, highest concentration of DHA (16.8 %) in total fatty acids among all published PUFA-producing Y. lipolytica strains.
    • Possibility of Bacterial Recruitment of Plant Genes Associated with the Biosynthesis of Secondary Metabolites1

      Bode, Helge Björn; Müller, Rolf (The American Society for Plant Biologists, 2003-07)
    • Production of the Bengamide Class of Marine Natural Products in Myxobacteria: Biosynthesis and Structure-Activity Relationships.

      Wenzel, Silke C; Hoffmann, Holger; Zhang, Jidong; Debussche, Laurent; Haag-Richter, Sabine; Kurz, Michael; Nardi, Frederico; Lukat, Peer; Kochems, Irene; Tietgen, Heiko; et al. (2015-12-14)
      The bengamides, sponge-derived natural products that have been characterized as inhibitors of methionine aminopeptidases (MetAPs), have been intensively investigated as anticancer compounds. We embarked on a multidisciplinary project to supply bengamides by fermentation of the terrestrial myxobacterium M. virescens, decipher their biosynthesis, and optimize their properties as drug leads. The characterization of the biosynthetic pathway revealed that bacterial resistance to bengamides is conferred by Leu 154 of the myxobacterial MetAP protein, and enabled transfer of the entire gene cluster into the more suitable production host M. xanthus DK1622. A combination of semisynthesis of microbially derived bengamides and total synthesis resulted in an optimized derivative that combined high cellular potency in the nanomolar range with high metabolic stability, which translated to an improved half-life in mice and antitumor efficacy in a melanoma mouse model.
    • Protein-Templated Hit Identification through an Ugi Four-Component Reaction.

      Mancini, Federica; Unver, M Yagiz; Elgaher, Walid A M; Jumde, Varsha R; Alhayek, Alaa; Lukat, Peer; Herrmann, Jennifer; Witte, Martin D; Köck, Matthias; Blankenfeldt, Wulf; et al. (Wiley-VCH, 2020-05-19)
    • 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.
    • Search for hits and early leads from soil bacteria to combat infectious diseases.

      Herrmann, Jennifer; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Open Learning on Enteric Pathogens, 2018-02-22)
    • Selective upregulation of TNFα expression in classically-activated human monocyte-derived macrophages (M1) through pharmacological interference with V-ATPase.

      Thomas, Lea; Rao, Zhigang; Gerstmeier, Jana; Raasch, Martin; Weinigel, Christina; Rummler, Silke; Menche, Dirk; Müller, Rolf; Pergola, Carlo; Mosig, Alexander; et al. (2017-02-09)
      Pharmacological interference with vacuolar-type H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase), a proton-translocating enzyme involved in protein transport and pH regulation of cell organelles, is considered a potential strategy for cancer therapy. Macrophages are critically involved in tumor progression and may occur as pro-tumoral M2 phenotype, whereas classically-activated M1 can inhibit tumor development for example by releasing tumor-suppressing molecules, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α. Here, we show that targeting V-ATPase by selective inhibitors such as archazolid upregulates the expression and secretion of TNFα in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- or LPS/interferon (INF)γ-activated M1-like macrophages derived from human blood monocytes. In contrast, archazolid failed to elevate TNFα production from uncommitted (M0) or interleukin (IL)-4-treated M2-like macrophages. Secretion of other relevant cytokines (i.e., IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10) or chemokines (i.e. IL-8 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1) from M1 was not affected by archazolid. Though V-ATPase inhibitors elevated the lysosomal pH in M1 comparable to chloroquine or ammonium chloride, the latter agents suppressed TNFα secretion. Archazolid selectively increased TNFα mRNA levels, which was abolished by dexamethasone. Interestingly, archazolid enhanced the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of the p65 subunit of NFκB and stimulated phosphorylation of SAPK/JNK. In a microfluidically-supported human tumor biochip model, archazolid-treated M1 significantly reduced tumor cell viability. Together, our data show that V-ATPase inhibition selectively upregulates TNFα production in classically-activated macrophages along with NFκB and SAPK/JNK activation. Such increased TNFα release caused by V-ATPase inhibitors may contribute to tumor suppression in addition to direct targeting cancer cells.
    • Self-resistance guided genome mining uncovers new topoisomerase inhibitors from myxobacteria.

      Panter, Fabian; Krug, Daniel; Baumann, Sascha; Müller, Rolf; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institute für pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (2018-06-07)
      There is astounding discrepancy between the genome-inscribed production capacity and the set of known secondary metabolite classes from many microorganisms as detected under laboratory cultivation conditions. Genome-mining techniques are meant to fill this gap, but in order to favor discovery of structurally novel as well as bioactive compounds it is crucial to amend genomics-based strategies with selective filtering principles. In this study, we followed a self-resistance guided approach aiming at the discovery of inhibitors of topoisomerase, known as valid target in both cancer and antibiotic therapy. A common host self-defense mechanism against such inhibitors in bacteria is mediated by so-called pentapeptide repeat proteins (PRP). Genes encoding the biosynthetic machinery for production of an alleged topoisomerase inhibitor were found on the basis of their collocation adjacent to a predicted PRP in the genome of the myxobacterium
    • Semisynthesis and biological evaluation of amidochelocardin derivatives as broad-spectrum antibiotics.

      Grandclaudon, Charlotte; Birudukota, N V Suryanarayana; Elgaher, Walid A M; Jumde, Ravindra P; Yahiaoui, Samir; Arisetti, Nanaji; Hennessen, Fabienne; Hüttel, Stephan; Stadler, Marc; Herrmann, Jennifer; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-12-20)
      To address the global challenge of emerging antimicrobial resistance, the hitherto most successful strategy to new antibiotics has been the optimization of validated natural products; most of these efforts rely on semisynthesis. Herein, we report the semisynthetic modification of amidochelocardin, an atypical tetracycline obtained via genetic engineering of the chelocardin producer strain. We report modifications at C4, C7, C10 and C11 by the application of methylation, acylation, electrophilic substitution, and oxidative C-C coupling reactions. The antibacterial activity of the reaction products was tested against a panel of Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens. The emerging structure-activity relationships (SARs) revealed that positions C7 and C10 are favorable anchor points for the semisynthesis of optimized derivatives. The observed SAR was different from that known for tetracyclines, which underlines the pronounced differences between the two compound classes.
    • Setting Our Sights on Infectious Diseases.

      De Rycker, Manu; Horn, David; Aldridge, Bree; Amewu, Richard K; Barry, Clifton E; Buckner, Frederick S; Cook, Sarah; Ferguson, Michael A J; Gobeau, Nathalie; Herrmann, Jennifer; et al. (American Society for Chemistry, 2019-12-06)
      In May 2019, the Wellcome Centre for Anti-Infectives Research (WCAIR) at the University of Dundee, UK, held an international conference with the aim of discussing some key questions around discovering new medicines for infectious diseases and a particular focus on diseases affecting Low and Middle Income Countries. There is an urgent need for new drugs to treat most infectious diseases. We were keen to see if there were lessons that we could learn across different disease areas and between the preclinical and clinical phases with the aim of exploring how we can improve and speed up the drug discovery, translational, and clinical development processes. We started with an introductory session on the current situation and then worked backward from clinical development to combination therapy, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) studies, drug discovery pathways, and new starting points and targets. This Viewpoint aims to capture some of the learnings.