Identification and characterization of the anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus WAP-8294A2 biosynthetic gene cluster from Lysobacter enzymogenes OH11.
ABSTRACT: Lysobactor enzymogenes strain OH11 is an emerging biological control agent of fungal and bacterial diseases. We recently completed its genome sequence and found it contains a large number of gene clusters putatively responsible for the biosynthesis of nonribosomal peptides and polyketides, including the previously identified antifungal dihydromaltophilin (HSAF). One of the gene clusters contains two huge open reading frames, together encoding 12 modules of nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS). Gene disruption of one of the NRPS led to the disappearance of a metabolite produced in the wild type and the elimination of its antibacterial activity. The metabolite and antibacterial activity were also affected by the disruption of some of the flanking genes. We subsequently isolated this metabolite and subjected it to spectroscopic analysis. The mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance data showed that its chemical structure is identical to WAP-8294A2, a cyclic lipodepsipeptide with potent anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) activity and currently in phase I/II clinical trials. The WAP-8294A2 biosynthetic genes had not been described previously. So far, the Gram-positive Streptomyces have been the primary source of anti-infectives. Lysobacter are Gram-negative soil/water bacteria that are genetically amendable and have not been well exploited. The WAP-8294A2 synthetase represents one of the largest NRPS complexes, consisting of 45 functional domains. The identification of these genes sets the foundation for the study of the WAP-8294A2 biosynthetic mechanism and opens the door for producing new anti-MRSA antibiotics through biosynthetic engineering in this new source of Lysobacter.
Project description:Polyketides and nonribosomal peptides represent two large families of natural products (NPs) with diverse structures and important functions. They are synthesized by polyketide synthase (PKS) and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS), respectively. Lysobacter enzymogenes is emerging as a novel biocontrol agent against pathogens of crop plants and a new source of bioactive NPs, such as antibacterial antibiotic WAP-8294A2 and antifungal antibiotic HSAF. Genome survey of strain OH11, a Chinese L. enzymogenes isolate, detected four novel PKS, NRPS or hybrid gene clusters, designed as cluster A to D. We further individually mutated five genes (PKS or NRPS) located in these four gene clusters and showed that a PKS gene in cluster A and an NRPS gene in cluster D were involved in the antibacterial activity via a WAP-8294A2 dependent way. The data also showed that none of the five genes was associated with antifungal activity and the regulation of HSAF biosynthesis. Our results reveal the unusual regulatory role of these PKS and NRPS genes that were discovered from genome mining in L. enzymogenes.
Project description:Lysobacter enzymogenes is a bacterial biological control agent emerging as a new source of antibiotic metabolites, such as heat-stable antifungal factor (HSAF) and the antibacterial factor WAP-8294A2. The regulatory mechanism(s) for antibiotic metabolite biosynthesis remains largely unknown in L. enzymogenes. Clp, a cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-receptor-like protein, is shown to function as a global regulator in modulating biocontrol-associated traits in L. enzymogenes. However, the genetic basis of Clp signaling remains unclear. Here, we utilized transcriptome/microarray analysis to determine the Clp regulon in L. enzymogenes. We showed that Clp is a global regulator in gene expression, as the transcription of 775 genes belonging to 19 functional groups was differentially controlled by Clp signaling. Analysis of the Clp regulon detected previously characterized Clp-modulated functions as well as novel loci. These include novel loci involved in antibiotic metabolite biosynthesis and surface motility in L. enzymogenes. We further showed experimentally that Clp signaling played a positive role in regulating the biosynthesis of HSAF and WAP-8294A2, as well as surface motility which is a type-IV-pilus-dependent trait. The regulation by Clp signaling of antibiotic (HSAF and WAP-8294A2) biosynthesis and surface motility was found to be independent. Importantly, we identified a factor Lysobacter acetyltransferase (Lat), a homologue of histone acetyltransferase Hpa2, which was regulated by Clp and involved in HSAF biosynthesis, but not associated with WAP-8294A2 production and surface motility. Overall, our study provided new insights into the regulatory role and molecular mechanism of Clp signaling in L. enzymogenes.
Project description:Lysobacter enzymogenes is an important biocontrol agent with the ability to produce a variety of lytic enzymes and novel antibiotics. Little is known about their regulatory mechanisms. Understanding these will be helpful for improving biocontrol of crop diseases and potential medical application. In the present study, we generated an hfq (encoding a putative ribonucleic acid chaperone) deletion mutant, and then utilized a new genomic marker-free method to construct an hfq-complemented strain. We showed for the first time that Hfq played a pleiotropic role in regulating the antibacterial antibiotic biosynthesis and extracellular lytic enzyme activity in L.?enzymogenes. Mutation of hfq significantly increased the yield of WAP-8294A2 (an antibacterial antibiotic) as well as the transcription of its key biosynthetic gene, waps1. However, inactivation of hfq almost abolished the extracellular chitinase activity and remarkably decreased the activity of both extracellular protease and cellulase in L.?enzymogenes. We further showed that the regulation of hfq in extracellular chitinase production was in part through the impairment of the secretion of chitinase A. Collectively, our results reveal the regulatory roles of hfq in antibiotic metabolite and extracellular lytic enzymes in the underexplored genus of Lysobacter.
Project description:The cyclic lipodepsipeptides WAP-8294A are antibiotics with potent activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). One member of this family, WAP-8294A2 (Lotilibcin), was in clinical trials due to its high activity and distinct chemistry. However, WAP-8294A compounds are produced in a very low yield by Lysobacter and only under very stringent conditions. Improving WAP-8294A yield has become very critical for research and application of these anti-MRSA compounds. Here, we report a strategy to increase WAP-8294A production. We first used the CRISPR/dCas9 system to increase the expression of five cotranscribed genes (orf1-5) in the WAP gene cluster, by fusing the omega subunit of RNA polymerase with dCas9 that targets the operon's promoter region. This led to the transcription of the genes increased by 5-48 folds in strain dCas9-?3. We then refactored four putative self-protection genes (orf6, orf7, orf9 and orf10) by reorganizing them into an operon under the control of a strong Lysobacter promoter, PHSAF. The refactored operon was introduced into strain dCas9-?3, and the transcription of the self-protection genes increased by 20-60 folds in the resultant engineered strains. The yield of the three main WAP-8294A compounds, WAP-8294A1, WAP-8294A2, and WAP-8294A4, increased by 6, 4, and 9 folds, respectively, in the engineered strains. The data also showed that the yield increase of WAP-8294A compounds was mainly due to the increase of the extracellular distribution. WAP-8294A2 exhibited potent (MIC 0.2-0.8 ?g/mL) and specific activity against S. aureus among a battery of clinically relevant Gram-positive pathogens (54 isolates).
Project description:WAP-8294A is a family of at least 20 cyclic lipodepsipeptides exhibiting potent anti-MRSA activity. These compounds differ mainly in the hydroxylated fatty acyl chain; WAP-8294A2, the most potent member of the family that reached clinical trials, is based on (R)-3-hydroxy-7-methyloctanoic acid. It is unclear how the acyl group is incorporated because no acyl-CoA ligase (ACL) gene is present in the WAP-8294A gene cluster in Lysobacter enzymogenes OH11. Here, we identified seven putative ACL genes in the OH11 genome and showed that the yield of WAP-8294A2 was impacted by multiple ACL genes with the ACL6 gene having the most significant effect. We then investigated several (R)-3-hydroxy fatty acids and their acyl SNAC (N-acetylcysteamine) thioesters as substrates for the ACLs. Feeding (R)-3-hydroxy-7-methyloctanoate-SNAC to the ACL6 gene deletion mutant restored the production of WAP-8294A2. Finally, we heterologously expressed the seven ACL genes in E. coli and purified six of the proteins. While these enzymes exhibit a varied level of activity in vitro, ACL6 showed the highest catalytic efficiency in converting (R)-3-hydroxy-7-methyloctanoic acid to its CoA thioester when incubated with coenzyme A and ATP. These results provided both in vivo and in vitro evidence to support the fact that ACL6 is the main player for fatty acyl activation and incorporation in WAP-8294A2 biosynthesis. The results also suggest that the molecular basis for the acyl chain diversity in the WAP-8294A family is the presence of functionally overlapping ACLs.
Project description:WAP-8294A is a group of cyclic lipodepsipeptides and considered as the first-in-class new chemical entity with potent activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. One of the roadblocks in developing the WAP-8294A antibiotics is the very low yield in Lysobacter. Here, we carried out a systematic investigation of the nutritional and environmental conditions in an engineered L. enzymogenes strain for the optimal production of WAP-8294A. We developed an activity-based simple method for quick screening of various factors, which enabled us to optimize the culture conditions. With the method, we were able to improve the WAP-8294A yield by 10-fold in small-scale cultures and approximately 15-fold in scale-up fermentation. Additionally, we found the ratio of WAP-8294A2 to WAP-8294A1 in the strains could be manipulated through medium optimization. The development of a practical method for yield improvement in Lysobacter will facilitate the ongoing basic research and clinical studies to develop WAP-8294A into true therapeutics.
Project description:Antifungal HSAF (heat-stable antifungal factor, dihydromaltophilin) is a polycyclic tetramate macrolactam from the biocontrol agent Lysobacter enzymogenes. Its biosynthetic gene cluster contains only a single-module polyketide synthase-nonribosomal peptide synthetase (PKS-NRPS), although two separate hexaketide chains are required to assemble the skeleton. To address the unusual biosynthetic mechanism, we expressed the biosynthetic genes in two "clean" strains of Streptomyces and showed the production of HSAF analogues and a polyene tetramate intermediate. We then expressed the PKS module in Escherichia coli and purified the enzyme. Upon incubation of the enzyme with acyl-coenzyme?A and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), a polyene was detected in the tryptic acyl carrier protein (ACP). Finally, we incubated the polyene-PKS with the NRPS module in the presence of ornithine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and we detected the same polyene tetramate as that in Streptomyces transformed with the PKS-NRPS alone. Together, our results provide evidence for an unusual iterative biosynthetic mechanism for bacterial polyketide-peptide natural products.
Project description:HSAF was isolated from Lysobacter enzymogenes , a bacterium used in the biological control of fungal diseases of plants. Structurally, it is a tetramic acid-containing macrolactam fused to a tricyclic system. HSAF exhibits a novel mode of action by disrupting sphingolipids important to the polarized growth of filamentous fungi. Here we describe the HSAF biosynthetic gene cluster, which contains only a single-module polyketide synthase/nonribosomal peptide synthetase (PKS/NRPS), although the biosynthesis of HSAF apparently requires two separate polyketide chains that are linked together by one amino acid (ornithine) via two amide bonds. Flanking the PKS/NRPS are six genes that encoding a cascade of four tightly clustered redox enzymes on one side and a sterol desaturase/fatty acid hydroxylase and a ferredoxin reductase on the other side. The genetic data demonstrate that the four redox genes, in addition to the PKS/NRPS gene and the sterol desaturase/fatty acid hydroxylase gene, are required for HSAF production. The biochemical data show that the adenylation domain of the NRPS specifically activates L-ornithine and that the four-domain NRPS is able to catalyze the formation of a tetramic acid-containing product from acyl-S-ACP and ornithinyl-S-NRPS. These results reveal a previously unrecognized biosynthetic mechanism for hybrid PK/NRP in prokaryotic organisms.
Project description:Forty four marine actinomycetes of the family Microccocaceae isolated from sponges collected primarily in Florida Keys (USA) were selected from our strain collection to be studied as new sources for the production of bioactive natural products. A 16S rRNA gene based phylogenetic analysis showed that the strains are members of the genera Kocuria and Micrococcus. To assess their biosynthetic potential, the strains were PCR screened for the presence of secondary metabolite genes encoding nonribosomal synthetase (NRPS) and polyketide synthases (PKS). A small extract collection of 528 crude extracts generated from nutritional microfermentation arrays was tested for the production of bioactive secondary metabolites against clinically relevant strains (Bacillus subtilis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Acinetobacter baumannii and Candida albicans). Three independent isolates were shown to produce a new anti-MRSA bioactive compound that was identified as kocurin, a new member of the thiazolyl peptide family of antibiotics emphasizing the role of this family as a prolific resource for novel drugs.
Project description:In filamentous fungi, genes in secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways are generally clustered. In the case of those pathways involved in nonribosomal peptide production, a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene is commonly found as a main element of the cluster. Large multifunctional enzymes are encoded by members of this gene family that produce a broad spectrum of bioactive compounds. In this research, we applied genome-based identification of nonribosomal peptide biosynthetic gene clusters in the family Ceratocystidaceae. For this purpose, we used the whole genome sequences of species from the genera Ceratocystis, Davidsoniella, Thielaviopsis, Endoconidiophora, Bretziella, Huntiella, and Ambrosiella. To identify and characterize the clusters, different bioinformatics and phylogenetic approaches, as well as PCR-based methods were used. In all genomes studied, two highly conserved NRPS genes (one monomodular and one multimodular) were identified and their potential products were predicted to be siderophores. Expression analysis of two Huntiella species (H. moniliformis and H. omanensis) confirmed the accuracy of the annotations and proved that the genes in both clusters are expressed. Furthermore, a phylogenetic analysis showed that both NRPS genes of the Ceratocystidaceae formed distinct and well supported clades in their respective phylograms, where they grouped with other known NRPSs involved in siderophore production. Overall, these findings improve our understanding of the diversity and evolution of NRPS biosynthetic pathways in the family Ceratocystidaceae.