Identification of a bioactive 51-membered macrolide complex by activation of a silent polyketide synthase in Streptomyces ambofaciens.
ABSTRACT: There is a constant need for new and improved drugs to combat infectious diseases, cancer, and other major life-threatening conditions. The recent development of genomics-guided approaches for novel natural product discovery has stimulated renewed interest in the search for natural product-based drugs. Genome sequence analysis of Streptomyces ambofaciens ATCC23877 has revealed numerous secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters, including a giant type I modular polyketide synthase (PKS) gene cluster, which is composed of 25 genes (nine of which encode PKSs) and spans almost 150 kb, making it one of the largest polyketide biosynthetic gene clusters described to date. The metabolic product(s) of this gene cluster are unknown, and transcriptional analyses showed that it is not expressed under laboratory growth conditions. The constitutive expression of a regulatory gene within the cluster, encoding a protein that is similar to Large ATP binding of the LuxR (LAL) family proteins, triggered the expression of the biosynthetic genes. This led to the identification of four 51-membered glycosylated macrolides, named stambomycins A-D as metabolic products of the gene cluster. The structures of these compounds imply several interesting biosynthetic features, including incorporation of unusual extender units into the polyketide chain and in trans hydroxylation of the growing polyketide chain to provide the hydroxyl group for macrolide formation. Interestingly, the stambomycins possess promising antiproliferative activity against human cancer cell lines. Database searches identify genes encoding LAL regulators within numerous cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters in actinomycete genomes, suggesting that constitutive expression of such pathway-specific activators represents a powerful approach for novel bioactive natural product discovery.
Project description:A large and rapidly increasing number of unstudied "orphan" natural product biosynthetic gene clusters are being uncovered in sequenced microbial genomes. An important goal of modern natural products research is to be able to accurately predict natural product structures and biosynthetic pathways from these gene cluster sequences. This requires both development of bioinformatic methods for global analysis of these gene clusters and experimental characterization of select products produced by gene clusters with divergent sequence characteristics. Here, we conduct global bioinformatic analysis of all available type II polyketide gene cluster sequences and identify a conserved set of gene clusters with unique ketosynthase ?/? sequence characteristics in the genomes of Frankia species, a group of Actinobacteria with underexploited natural product biosynthetic potential. Through LC-MS profiling of extracts from several Frankia species grown under various conditions, we identified Frankia sp. EAN1pec as producing a compound with spectral characteristics consistent with the type II polyketide produced by this gene cluster. We isolated the compound, a pentangular polyketide which we named frankiamicin A, and elucidated its structure by NMR and labeled precursor feeding. We also propose biosynthetic and regulatory pathways for frankiamicin A based on comparative genomic analysis and literature precedent, and conduct bioactivity assays of the compound. Our findings provide new information linking this set of Frankia gene clusters with the compound they produce, and our approach has implications for accurate functional prediction of the many other type II polyketide clusters present in bacterial genomes.
Project description:Natural product biosynthetic pathways generate molecules of enormous structural complexity and exquisitely tuned biological activities. Studies of natural products have led to the discovery of many pharmaceutical agents, particularly antibiotics. Attempts to harness the catalytic prowess of biosynthetic enzyme systems, for both compound discovery and engineering, have been limited by a poor understanding of the evolution of the underlying gene clusters. We developed an approach to study the evolution of biosynthetic genes on a cluster-wide scale, integrating pairwise gene coevolution information with large-scale phylogenetic analysis. We used this method to infer the evolution of type II polyketide gene clusters, tracing the path of evolution from the single ancestor to those gene clusters surviving today. We identified 10 key gene types in these clusters, most of which were swapped in from existing cellular processes and subsequently specialized. The ancestral type II polyketide gene cluster likely comprised a core set of five genes, a roster that expanded and contracted throughout evolution. A key C24 ancestor diversified into major classes of longer and shorter chain length systems, from which a C20 ancestor gave rise to the majority of characterized type II polyketide antibiotics. Our findings reveal that (i) type II polyketide structure is predictable from its gene roster, (ii) only certain gene combinations are compatible, and (iii) gene swaps were likely a key to evolution of chemical diversity. The lessons learned about how natural selection drives polyketide chemical innovation can be applied to the rational design and guided discovery of chemicals with desired structures and properties.
Project description:Polyketide-polyketide hybrids are unique natural products with promising bioactivity, but the hybridization processes remain poorly understood. Herein, we present that the biosynthetic pathways of two immunosuppressants, dalmanol A and acetodalmanol A, result from an unspecific monooxygenase triggered hybridization of two distinct polyketide (naphthalene and chromane) biosynthetic gene clusters. The orchestration of the functional dimorphism of the polyketide synthase (ChrA) ketoreductase (KR) domain (shortened as ChrA KR) with that of the KR partner (ChrB) in the bioassembly line increases the polyketide diversity and allows the fungal generation of plant chromanes (e.g., noreugenin) and phloroglucinols (e.g., 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone). The simultaneous fungal biosynthesis of 1,3,6,8- and 2-acetyl-1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynaphthalenes was addressed as well. Collectively, the work may symbolize a movement in understanding the multiple-gene-cluster involved natural product biosynthesis, and highlights the possible fungal generations of some chromane- and phloroglucinol-based phytochemicals.
Project description:Genome mining and identification of natural product gene clusters typically relies on the presence of canonical nonribosomal polypeptide synthetase (NRPS) or polyketide synthase (PKS) domains. Recently, other condensation enzymes, such as the ATP-grasp ligases, have been recognized as important players in natural product biosynthesis. In this study, sequence based searching for homologues of DdaF, the ATP-grasp amide ligase from dapdiamide biosynthesis, led to the identification of a previously unannotated biosynthetic gene cluster in Pseudoalteromonas tunicata. Heterologous expression of the cluster in Escherichia coli allowed for the production and structure determination of two new 3-formyl tyrosine metabolites.
Project description:The propagation of DNA extracted directly from environmental samples in laboratory-grown bacteria provides a means to study natural products encoded in the genomes of uncultured bacteria. However, gene silencing often hampers the functional characterization of gene clusters captured on environmental DNA clones. Here we show that the overexpression of transcription factors found in sequenced environmental DNA-derived biosynthetic gene clusters, in conjunction with traditional culture-broth extract screening, can be used to identify new bioactive secondary metabolites from otherwise-silent gene clusters. Tetarimycin A, a tetracyclic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)-active antibiotic, was isolated from the culture-broth extract of Streptomyces albus cultures cotransformed with an environmentally derived type-II polyketide biosynthetic gene cluster and its pathway-specific Streptomyces antibiotic regulatory protein (SARP) cloned under the control of the constitutive ermE* promoter.
Project description:Streptococcus mutans is a major pathogen causing human dental caries. As a Gram-positive bacterium with a small genome (about 2?Mb) it is considered a poor source of natural products. Due to a recent explosion in genomic data available for S. mutans strains, we were motivated to explore the natural product production potential of this organism. Bioinformatic characterization of 169 publically available genomes of S. mutans from human dental caries revealed a surprisingly rich source of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. Anti-SMASH analysis identified one nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene cluster, seven polyketide synthase (PKS) gene clusters and 136 hybrid PKS/NRPS gene clusters. In addition, 211 ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) clusters and 615 bacteriocin precursors were identified by a combined analysis using BAGEL and anti-SMASH. S. mutans harbors a rich and diverse natural product genetic capacity, which underscores the importance of probing the human microbiome and revisiting species that have traditionally been overlooked as "poor" sources of natural products.
Project description:Using automated genome analysis tools, it is often unclear to what degree genetic variability in homologous biosynthetic pathways relates to structural variation. This hampers strain prioritization and compound identification and can lead to overinterpretation of chemical diversity. Here, we assessed the metabolic potential of Nocardia, an underinvestigated actinobacterial genus that is known to comprise opportunistic human pathogens. Our analysis revealed a plethora of putative biosynthetic gene clusters of various classes, including polyketide, nonribosomal peptide, and terpenoid pathways. Furthermore, we used the highly conserved biosynthetic pathway for nocobactin-like siderophores to investigate how gene cluster differences correlate to structural differences in the produced compounds. Sequence similarity networks generated by BiG-SCAPE (Biosynthetic Gene Similarity Clustering and Prospecting Engine) showed the presence of several distinct gene cluster families. Metabolic profiling of selected Nocardia strains using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) metabolomics data, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and GNPS (Global Natural Product Social molecular networking) revealed that nocobactin-like biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) families above a BiG-SCAPE threshold of 70% can be assigned to distinct structural types of nocobactin-like siderophores.IMPORTANCE Our work emphasizes that Nocardia represent a prolific source for natural products rivaling better-characterized genera such as Streptomyces or Amycolatopsis Furthermore, we showed that large-scale analysis of biosynthetic gene clusters using similarity networks with high stringency allows the distinction and prediction of natural product structural variations. This will facilitate future genomics-driven drug discovery campaigns.
Project description:Comparative transcriptional profiling of a ?bldM mutant of Streptomyces venezuelae with its unmodified progenitor revealed that the expression of a cryptic biosynthetic gene cluster containing both type?I and type?III polyketide synthase genes is activated in the mutant. The 29.5?kb gene cluster, which was predicted to encode an unusual biaryl metabolite, which we named venemycin, and potentially halogenated derivatives, contains 16 genes including one-vemR-that encodes a transcriptional activator of the large ATP-binding LuxR-like (LAL) family. Constitutive expression of vemR in the ?bldM mutant led to the production of sufficient venemycin for structural characterisation, confirming its unusual biaryl structure. Co-expression of the venemycin biosynthetic gene cluster and vemR in the heterologous host Streptomyces coelicolor also resulted in venemycin production. Although the gene cluster encodes two halogenases and a flavin reductase, constitutive expression of all three genes led to the accumulation only of a monohalogenated venemycin derivative, both in the native producer and the heterologous host. A competition experiment in which equimolar quantities of sodium chloride and sodium bromide were fed to the venemycin-producing strains resulted in the preferential incorporation of bromine, thus suggesting that bromide is the preferred substrate for one or both halogenases.
Project description:Actinomycetes are a diverse group of medically, industrially and ecologically important bacteria, studied as much for the diseases they cause as for the cures they hold. The genomes of actinomycetes revealed that these bacteria have a large number of natural product gene clusters, although many of these are difficult to tie to products in the laboratory. Large scale comparisons of these clusters are difficult to perform due to the presence of highly similar repeated domains in the most common biosynthetic machinery: polyketide synthases (PKSs) and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs).We have used comparative genomics to provide an overview of the genomic features of a set of 102 closed genomes from this important group of bacteria with a focus on natural product biosynthetic genes. We have focused on well-represented genera and determine the occurrence of gene cluster families therein. Conservation of natural product gene clusters within Mycobacterium, Streptomyces and Frankia suggest crucial roles for natural products in the biology of each genus. The abundance of natural product classes is also found to vary greatly between genera, revealing underlying patterns that are not yet understood.A large-scale analysis of natural product gene clusters presents a useful foundation for hypothesis formulation that is currently underutilized in the field. Such studies will be increasingly necessary to study the diversity and ecology of natural products as the number of genome sequences available continues to grow.
Project description:Fungal highly reducing polyketide synthases (HRPKSs) are highly programmed multidomain enzymes that synthesize reduced polyketide structures. Recent reports indicated salicylaldehydes are synthesized by HRPKS biosynthetic gene clusters, which are unexpected based on known enzymology of HRPKSs. Using genome mining of a Trichoderma virens HRPKS gene cluster that encodes a number of redox enzymes, we uncover the strategy used by HRPKS pathways in the biosynthesis of aromatic products such as salicylaldehyde 4, which can be oxidatively modified to the epoxycyclohexanol natural product trichoxide 1. We show selective ?-hydroxyl groups in the linear HRPKS product are individually reoxidized to ?-ketones by short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase enzymes, which enabled intramolecular aldol condensation and aromatization. Our work expands the chemical space of natural products accessible through HRPKS pathways.