Complexity generation in fungal polyketide biosynthesis: a spirocycle-forming P450 in the concise pathway to the antifungal drug griseofulvin.
ABSTRACT: Griseofulvin (1) is a spirocyclic fungal natural product used in treatment of fungal dermatophytes. Formation of the spirocycle, or the grisan scaffold, from a benzophenone precursor is critical for the activity of 1. In this study, we have systematically characterized each of the biosynthetic enzymes related to the biogenesis of 1, including the characterization of a new polyketide synthase GsfA that synthesizes the benzophenone precursor and a cytochrome P450 GsfF that performs oxidative coupling between the orcinol and the phloroglucinol rings to yield the grisan structure. Notably, the finding of GsfF is in sharp contrast to the copper-dependent dihydrogeodin oxidase that performs a similar reaction in the geodin biosynthetic pathway. The biosynthetic knowledge enabled the in vitro total biosynthesis of 1 from malonyl-CoA using all purified enzyme components. This work therefore completely maps out the previously unresolved enzymology of the biosynthesis of a therapeutically relevant natural product.
Project description:Griseofulvin is an anti-fungal agent which has recently been determined to have potential anti-viral and anti-cancer applications. The role of specific enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of this natural product has previously been determined, but the mechanism by which a p450, GsfF, catalyzes the key oxidative cyclization of griseophenone B remains unknown. Using density functional theory (DFT), we have determined the mechanism of this oxidation that forms the oxa-spiro core of griseofulvin. Computations show GsfF preferentially performs two sequential phenolic O-H abstractions rather than epoxidation to form an arene oxide intermediate. This conclusion is supported by experimental kinetic isotope effects.
Project description:Griseofulvin is a fungal metabolite and antifungal drug used for the treatment of dermatophytosis in both humans and animals. Recently, griseofulvin and its analogues have attracted renewed attention due to reports of their potential anticancer effects. In this study griseofulvin (1) and related analogues (2-6, with 4 being new to literature) were isolated from Xylaria cubensis. Six fluorinated analogues (7-12) were synthesized, each in a single step using the isolated natural products and Selectflour, so as to examine the effects of fluorine incorporation on the bioactivities of this structural class. The isolated and synthesized compounds were screened for activity against a panel of cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-435, MDA-MB-231, OVCAR3, and Huh7.5.1) and for antifungal activity against Microsporum gypseum. A comparison of the chemical space occupied by the natural and fluorinated analogues was carried out by using principal component analysis, documenting that the isolated and fluorinated analogues occupy complementary regions of chemical space. However, the most active compounds, including two fluorinated derivatives, were centered around the chemical space that was occupied by the parent compound, griseofulvin, suggesting that modifications must preserve certain attributes of griseofulvin to conserve its activity.
Project description:A large portion of natural products research revolves around the discovery of new, bioactive chemical entities; however, studies to probe the biological purpose of such secondary metabolites for the host organism are often limited. Mass spectrometry mapping of secondary metabolite biosynthesis in situ can be used to probe a series of ecological questions about fungi that may be lost through traditional natural products chemistry extraction protocols. A griseofulvin-producing fungal culture of the Xylariaceae family, isolated as an endophyte of the tree Asimina triloba, was analyzed through a series of spatial and temporal mapping experiments. This fungus produced unique fungal characteristics, such as guttates and stroma, both of which were explored spatially. The distribution of griseofulvin on this culture in isolation was compared to its dispersal when grown in co-culture with a competing Penicillium species via a droplet-based surface sampling system. The fungistatic properties of griseofulvin were visualized, including the consequences for biosynthesis of polyhydroxyanthraquinones in a rival culture.
Project description:Griseofulvin, an orally active antifungal drug used to treat dermatophyte infections, has a secondary effect of inducing cytochrome P450-mediated production of N-methyl protoporphyrin IX (N-MPP). N-MPP is a potent competitive inhibitor of the heme biosynthetic-enzyme ferrochelatase, and inhibits the growth of cultured erythrocyte stage Plasmodium falciparum. Novel drugs against Plasmodium are needed to achieve malaria elimination. Thus, we investigated whether griseofulvin shows anti-plasmodial activity. We observed that the intraerythrocytic growth of P. falciparum is inhibited in red blood cells pretreated with griseofulvin in vitro. Treatment with 100??M griseofulvin was sufficient to prevent parasite growth and induce the production of N-MPP. Inclusion of the ferrochelatase substrate PPIX blocked the inhibitory activity of griseofulvin, suggesting that griseofulvin exerts its activity through the N-MPP-dependent inhibition of ferrochelatase. In an ex-vivo study, red blood cells from griseofulvin-treated subjects were refractory to the growth of cultured P. falciparum. However, in a clinical trial griseofulvin failed to show either therapeutic or prophylactic effect in subjects infected with blood stage P. falciparum. Although the development of griseofulvin as an antimalarial is not warranted, it represents a novel inhibitor of P. falciparum growth and acts via the N-MPP-dependent inhibition of ferrochelatase.
Project description:Griseofulvin (7-chloro-2',4,6-trimethoxy-6'-methylspiro[benzofuran-2(3H),1'-cyclohexene]-3,4'-dione) induces aggregation of microtubule protein at 0 degrees C. This aggregate contains approx. 90% of the microtubule-associated proteins originally present in the microtubule protein. The supernatant obtained after removal of the griseofulvin-induced aggregate does not form microtubules on warming at 37 degrees C. Addition of the griseofulvin-aggregated protein to this supernatant and warming to 37 degrees C gives rise to a limited amount of microtubule assembly. The possible involvement of griseofulvin-induced aggregation of microtubule protein at 0 degrees C in the inhibition by griseofulvin of microtubule assembly in vitro is discussed.
Project description:Feeding mice with griseofulvin, a widely used anti-fungal agent which induces protoporphyria as a side-effect, leads to the formation in the liver of two green pigments which have been shown to be porphyrin adducts. In this work, the major porphyrin adduct isolated from the livers of griseofulvin-fed mice has been characterized structurally using one- and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. The adduct was shown to be an N-alkylated protoporphyrin IX in which the whole of griseofulvin (less a hydrogen atom) is attached to a pyrrole ring nitrogen of the porphyrin. It was shown that the drug-to-porphyrin linkage is an an -O-CH2-Npyrrole = linkage, to either the 4- or 6-position of ring a of griseofulvin. In an attempt to identify which pyrrole nitrogen is involved in this linkage, the 1H spectra of the free base and zinc complex of the adduct were compared with the corresponding spectra of the four regioisomers of N-methylprotoporphyrin. These comparisons indicated that the adduct isolated from the livers of griseofulvin-fed mice is either the NC or the ND regioisomer, although a clear distinction between these two could not be made on the available evidence. The mechanism of formation of the adduct and its relation to griseofulvin-induced protoporphyria are discussed.
Project description:Fungal natural products are a rich resource for bioactive molecules. To fully exploit this potential it is necessary to link genes to metabolites. Genetic information for numerous putative biosynthetic pathways has become available in recent years through genome sequencing. However, the lack of solid methodology for genetic manipulation of most species severely hampers pathway characterization. Here we present a simple PCR based approach for heterologous reconstitution of intact gene clusters. Specifically, the putative gene cluster responsible for geodin production from Aspergillus terreus was transferred in a two step procedure to an expression platform in A. nidulans. The individual cluster fragments were generated by PCR and assembled via efficient USER fusion prior to transformation and integration via re-iterative gene targeting. A total of 13 open reading frames contained in 25 kb of DNA were successfully transferred between the two species enabling geodin synthesis in A. nidulans. Subsequently, functions of three genes in the cluster were validated by genetic and chemical analyses. Specifically, ATEG_08451 (gedC) encodes a polyketide synthase, ATEG_08453 (gedR) encodes a transcription factor responsible for activation of the geodin gene cluster and ATEG_08460 (gedL) encodes a halogenase that catalyzes conversion of sulochrin to dihydrogeodin. We expect that our approach for transferring intact biosynthetic pathways to a fungus with a well developed genetic toolbox will be instrumental in characterizing the many exciting pathways for secondary metabolite production that are currently being uncovered by the fungal genome sequencing projects.
Project description:Griseofulvin 1 is an important antifungal agent that has recently received attention due to its antiproliferative activity in mammalian cancer cells. Study of SAR of some griseofulvin analogues has led to the identification of 2'-benzyloxy griseofulvin 3, a more potent analogue which retards tumor growth through inhibition of centrosomal clustering. However, similar to griseofulvin 1, compound 3 exhibited poor aqueous solubility. In order to improve the poor water solubility, six new griseofulvin analogues 5-10 were synthesized and tested for their antiproliferative activity and water solubility. The semicarbazone 9 and aminoguanidine 10 analogues were the most potent against HCT116 and MCF-7 cell lines. In combination studies, compound 9 was found to exert synergistic effects with tamoxifen and 5-fluorouracil against MCF-7 and HCT116 cells proliferation, respectively. The flow cytometric analysis of effect of 9 on cell cycle progression revealed G2/M arrest in HCT116. In addition, compound 9 induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. Finally, all synthesized analogues revealed higher water solubility than griseofulvin 1 and benzyloxy analogue 3 in pH 1.2 and 6.8 buffer solutions.
Project description:Penicillium aethiopicum produces two structurally interesting and biologically active polyketides: the tetracycline-like viridicatumtoxin 1 and the classic antifungal agent griseofulvin 2. Here, we report the concurrent discovery of the two corresponding biosynthetic gene clusters (vrt and gsf) by 454 shotgun sequencing. Gene deletions confirmed that two nonreducing PKSs (NRPKSs), vrtA and gsfA, are required for the biosynthesis of 1 and 2, respectively. Both PKSs share similar domain architectures and lack a C-terminal thioesterase domain. We identified gsfI as the chlorinase involved in the biosynthesis of 2, because deletion of gsfI resulted in the accumulation of decholorogriseofulvin 3. Comparative analysis with the P. chrysogenum genome revealed that both clusters are embedded within conserved syntenic regions of P. aethiopicum chromosomes. Discovery of the vrt and gsf clusters provided the basis for genetic and biochemical studies of the pathways.
Project description:Griseofulvin, an antifungal drug, has recently been shown to inhibit proliferation of various types of cancer cells and to inhibit tumor growth in athymic mice. Due to its low toxicity, griseofulvin has drawn considerable attention for its potential use in cancer chemotherapy. This work aims to understand how griseofulvin suppresses microtubule dynamics in living cells and sought to elucidate the antimitotic and antiproliferative action of the drug.The effects of griseofulvin on the dynamics of individual microtubules in live MCF-7 cells were measured by confocal microscopy. Immunofluorescence microscopy, western blotting and flow cytometry were used to analyze the effects of griseofulvin on spindle microtubule organization, cell cycle progression and apoptosis. Further, interactions of purified tubulin with griseofulvin were studied in vitro by spectrophotometry and spectrofluorimetry. Docking analysis was performed using autodock4 and LigandFit module of Discovery Studio 2.1.Griseofulvin strongly suppressed the dynamic instability of individual microtubules in live MCF-7 cells by reducing the rate and extent of the growing and shortening phases. At or near half-maximal proliferation inhibitory concentration, griseofulvin dampened the dynamicity of microtubules in MCF-7 cells without significantly disrupting the microtubule network. Griseofulvin-induced mitotic arrest was associated with several mitotic abnormalities like misaligned chromosomes, multipolar spindles, misegregated chromosomes resulting in cells containing fragmented nuclei. These fragmented nuclei were found to contain increased concentration of p53. Using both computational and experimental approaches, we provided evidence suggesting that griseofulvin binds to tubulin in two different sites; one site overlaps with the paclitaxel binding site while the second site is located at the alphabeta intra-dimer interface. In combination studies, griseofulvin and vinblastine were found to exert synergistic effects against MCF-7 cell proliferation.The study provided evidence suggesting that griseofulvin shares its binding site in tubulin with paclitaxel and kinetically suppresses microtubule dynamics in a similar manner. The results revealed the antimitotic mechanism of action of griseofulvin and provided evidence suggesting that griseofulvin alone and/or in combination with vinblastine may have promising role in breast cancer chemotherapy.