In vivo and in vitro trans-acylation by BryP, the putative bryostatin pathway acyltransferase derived from an uncultured marine symbiont.
ABSTRACT: The putative modular polyketide synthase (PKS) that prescribes biosynthesis of the bryostatin natural products from the uncultured bacterial symbiont of the marine bryozoan Bugula neritina possesses a discrete open reading frame (ORF) (bryP) that encodes a protein containing tandem acyltransferase (AT) domains upstream of the PKS ORFs. BryP is hypothesized to catalyze in trans acylation of the PKS modules for polyketide chain elongation. To verify conservation of function, bryP was introduced into AT-deletion mutant strains of a heterologous host containing a PKS cluster with similar architecture, and polyketide production was partially rescued. Biochemical characterization demonstrated that BryP catalyzes selective malonyl-CoA acylation of native and heterologous acyl carrier proteins and complete PKS modules in vitro. The results support the hypothesis that BryP loads malonyl-CoA onto Bry PKS modules, and provide the first biochemical evidence of the functionality of the bry cluster.
Project description:Polyketide synthases (PKSs) use simple extender units to synthesize complex natural products. A fundamental question is how different extender units are site-specifically incorporated into the growing polyketide. Here we established phoslactomycin (Pn) PKS, which incorporates malonyl- and ethylmalonyl-CoA, as an in?vitro model to study substrate specificity. We combined up to six Pn PKS modules with different termination sites for the controlled release of tetra-, penta- and hexaketides, and challenged these systems with up to seven different extender units in competitive assays to test for the specificity of Pn modules. While malonyl-CoA modules of Pn PKS exclusively accept their natural substrate, the ethylmalonyl-CoA module PnC tolerates different ?-substituted derivatives, but discriminates against malonyl-CoA. We show that the ratio of extender transacylation to hydrolysis controls incorporation in PnC, thus explaining site-specific selectivity and promiscuity in the natural context of Pn PKS.
Project description:The marine bryozoan, Bugula neritina, is the source of the bryostatins, a family of macrocyclic lactones with anticancer activity. Bryostatins have long been suspected to be bacterial products. B. neritina harbors the uncultivated gamma proteobacterial symbiont "Candidatus Endobugula sertula." In this work several lines of evidence are presented that show that the symbiont is the most likely source of bryostatins. Bryostatins are complex polyketides similar to bacterial secondary metabolites synthesized by modular type I polyketide synthases (PKS-I). PKS-I gene fragments were cloned from DNA extracted from the B. neritina-"E. sertula" association, and then primers specific to one of these clones, KSa, were shown to amplify the KSa gene specifically and universally from total B. neritina DNA. In addition, a KSa RNA probe was shown to bind specifically to the symbiotic bacteria located in the pallial sinus of the larvae of B. neritina and not to B. neritina cells or to other bacteria. Finally, B. neritina colonies grown in the laboratory were treated with antibiotics to reduce the numbers of bacterial symbionts. Decreased symbiont levels resulted in the reduction of the KSa signal as well as the bryostatin content. These data provide evidence that the symbiont E. sertula has the genetic potential to make bryostatins and is necessary in full complement for the host bryozoan to produce normal levels of bryostatins. This study demonstrates that it may be possible to clone bryostatin genes from B. neritina directly and use these to produce bryostatins in heterologous host bacteria.
Project description:The bryozoans Bugula neritina and Bugula simplex harbor bacteria in the pallial sinuses of their larvae as seen by electron microscopy. In B. neritina, the bacterial symbiont has been characterized as a gamma-proteobacterium, "Candidatus Endobugula sertula." "Candidatus E. sertula" has been implicated as the source of the bryostatins, polyketides that provide chemical defense to the host and are also being tested for use in human cancer treatments. In this study, the bacterial symbiont in B. simplex larvae was identified by 16S rRNA-targeted PCR and sequencing as a gamma-proteobacterium closely related to and forming a monophyletic group with "Candidatus E. sertula." In a fluorescence in situ hybridization, a 16S ribosomal DNA probe specific to the B. simplex symbiont hybridized to long rod-shaped bacteria in the pallial sinus of a B. simplex larva. The taxonomic status "Candidatus Endobugula glebosa" is proposed for the B. simplex larval symbiont. Degenerate polyketide synthase (PKS) primers amplified a gene fragment from B. simplex that closely matched a PKS gene fragment from the bryostatin PKS cluster. PCR surveys show that the symbiont and this PKS gene fragment are consistently and uniquely associated with B. simplex. Bryostatin activity assays and chemical analyses of B. simplex extracts reveal the presence of compounds similar to bryostatins. Taken together, these findings demonstrate a symbiosis in B. simplex that is similar and evolutionarily related to that in B. neritina.
Project description:Type I polyketide synthases (PKSs) are multifunctional enzymes that are organized into modules, each of which minimally contains a beta-ketoacyl synthase, an acyltransferase (AT), and an acyl carrier protein. Here we report that the leinamycin (LNM) biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces atroolivaceus S-140 consists of two PKS genes, lnmI and lnmJ, that encode six PKS modules, none of which contain the cognate AT domain. The only AT activity identified within the lnm gene cluster is a discrete AT protein encoded by lnmG. Inactivation of lnmG, lnmI, or lnmJ in vivo abolished LNM biosynthesis. Biochemical characterization of LnmG in vitro showed that it efficiently and specifically loaded malonyl CoA to all six PKS modules. These findings unveiled a previously unknown PKS architecture that is characterized by a discrete, iteratively acting AT protein that loads the extender units in trans to "AT-less" multifunctional type I PKS proteins for polyketide biosynthesis. This PKS structure provides opportunities for PKS engineering as exemplified by overexpressing lnmG to improve LNM production.
Project description:"Candidatus Endobugula sertula," the uncultured microbial symbiont of the bryozoan Bugula neritina, produces ecologically and biomedically important polyketide metabolites called bryostatins. We isolated two gene fragments from B. neritina larvae that have high levels of similarity to polyketide synthase genes. These gene fragments are clearly associated with the symbiont and not with the host.
Project description:Early acting cyclases play critical roles in programming the polyketide biosynthesis toward certain, distinguished scaffolds. Starting from acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA, a one-pot enzymatic total synthesis of an anthracyclinone scaffold, presteffimycinone, was achieved by mixing polyketide synthase (PKS) and early post-PKS enzymes from the biosynthetic pathways of three different types of type II-PKS driven anticancer antibiotics, namely, the mithramycin (aureolic acid-type), gilvocarcin (rearranged angucycline-type), and steffimycin (anthracycline) pathways.
Project description:Although a few well-characterized polyketide synthases (PKSs) have been functionally reconstituted in vitro from purified protein components, the use of this strategy to decode "orphan" assembly line PKSs has not been described. To begin investigating a PKS found only in Nocardia strains associated with clinical cases of nocardiosis, we reconstituted in vitro its five terminal catalytic modules. In the presence of octanoyl-CoA, malonyl-CoA, NADPH, and S-adenosyl methionine, this pentamodular PKS system yielded unprecedented octaketide and heptaketide products whose structures were partially elucidated using mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy. The PKS has several notable features, including a "split, stuttering" module and a terminal reductive release mechanism. Our findings pave the way for further analysis of this unusual biosynthetic gene cluster whose natural product may enhance the infectivity of its producer strains in human hosts.
Project description:Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are produced in some unicellular organisms, such as marine gammaproteobacteria, myxobacteria, and thraustochytrids, by large enzyme complexes called PUFA synthases. These enzymatic complexes resemble bacterial antibiotic-producing proteins known as polyketide synthases (PKS). One of the PUFA synthase subunits is a conserved large protein (PfaA in marine proteobacteria) that contains three to nine tandem acyl carrier protein (ACP) domains as well as condensation and modification domains. In this work, a study of the PfaA architecture and its ability to initiate the synthesis by selecting malonyl units has been carried out. As a result, we have observed a self-acylation ability in tandem ACPs whose biochemical mechanism differ from the previously described for type II PKS. The acyltransferase domain of PfaA showed a high selectivity for malonyl-CoA that efficiently loads onto the ACPs domains. These results, together with the structural organization predicted for PfaA, suggest that this protein plays a key role at early stages of the anaerobic pathway of PUFA synthesis.
Project description:The uncultured bacterial symbiont "Candidatus Endobugula sertula" is known to produce cytotoxic compounds called bryostatins, which protect the larvae of its host, Bugula neritina The symbiont has never been successfully cultured, and it was thought that its genome might be significantly reduced. Here, we took a shotgun metagenomics and metatranscriptomics approach to assemble and characterize the genome of "Ca Endobugula sertula." We found that it had specific metabolic deficiencies in the biosynthesis of certain amino acids but few other signs of genome degradation, such as small size, abundant pseudogenes, and low coding density. We also identified homologs to genes associated with insect pathogenesis in other gammaproteobacteria, and these genes may be involved in host-symbiont interactions and vertical transmission. Metatranscriptomics revealed that these genes were highly expressed in a reproductive host, along with bry genes for the biosynthesis of bryostatins. We identified two new putative bry genes fragmented from the main bry operon, accounting for previously missing enzymatic functions in the pathway. We also determined that a gene previously assigned to the pathway, bryS, is not expressed in reproductive tissue, suggesting that it is not involved in the production of bryostatins. Our findings suggest that "Ca Endobugula sertula" may be able to live outside the host if its metabolic deficiencies are alleviated by medium components, which is consistent with recent findings that it may be possible for "Ca Endobugula sertula" to be transmitted horizontally. IMPORTANCE:The bryostatins are potent protein kinase C activators that have been evaluated in clinical trials for a number of indications, including cancer and Alzheimer's disease. There is, therefore, considerable interest in securing a renewable supply of these compounds, which is currently only possible through aquaculture of Bugula neritina and total chemical synthesis. However, these approaches are labor-intensive and low-yielding and thus preclude the use of bryostatins as a viable therapeutic agent. Our genome assembly and transcriptome analysis for "Ca Endobugula sertula" shed light on the metabolism of this symbiont, potentially aiding isolation and culturing efforts. Our identification of additional bry genes may also facilitate efforts to express the complete pathway heterologously.
Project description:Engineering of assembly line polyketide synthases (PKSs) to produce novel bioactive compounds has been a goal for over 20 years. The apparent modularity of PKSs has inspired many engineering attempts in which entire modules or single domains were exchanged. In recent years, it has become evident that certain domain-domain interactions are evolutionarily optimized and, if disrupted, cause a decrease of the overall turnover rate of the chimeric PKS. In this study, we compared different types of chimeric PKSs in order to define the least invasive interface and to expand the toolbox for PKS engineering. We generated bimodular chimeric PKSs in which entire modules were exchanged, while either retaining a covalent linker between heterologous modules or introducing a noncovalent docking domain, or SYNZIP domain, mediated interface. These chimeric systems exhibited non-native domain-domain interactions during intermodular polyketide chain translocation. They were compared to otherwise equivalent bimodular PKSs in which a noncovalent interface was introduced between the condensing and processing parts of a module, resulting in non-native domain interactions during the extender unit acylation and polyketide chain elongation steps of their catalytic cycles. We show that the natural PKS docking domains can be efficiently substituted with SYNZIP domains and that the newly introduced noncovalent interface between the condensing and processing parts of a module can be harnessed for PKS engineering. Additionally, we established SYNZIP domains as a new tool for engineering PKSs by efficiently bridging non-native interfaces without perturbing PKS activity.