Rapid characterization and engineering of natural product biosynthetic pathways via DNA assembler.
ABSTRACT: We report a synthetic biology strategy for rapid genetic manipulation of natural product biosynthetic pathways. Based on DNA assembler, this method synthesizes the entire expression vector containing the target biosynthetic pathway and the genetic elements required for DNA maintenance and replication in various hosts in a single-step manner through yeast homologous recombination, offering unprecedented flexibility and versatility in pathway manipulations.
Project description:The assembly of large recombinant DNA encoding a whole biochemical pathway or genome represents a significant challenge. Here, we report a new method, DNA assembler, which allows the assembly of an entire biochemical pathway in a single step via in vivo homologous recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We show that DNA assembler can rapidly assemble a functional D-xylose utilization pathway (approximately 9 kb DNA consisting of three genes), a functional zeaxanthin biosynthesis pathway (approximately 11 kb DNA consisting of five genes) and a functional combined D-xylose utilization and zeaxanthin biosynthesis pathway (approximately 19 kb consisting of eight genes) with high efficiencies (70-100%) either on a plasmid or on a yeast chromosome. As this new method only requires simple DNA preparation and one-step yeast transformation, it represents a powerful tool in the construction of biochemical pathways for synthetic biology, metabolic engineering and functional genomics studies.
Project description:Assembling a large genome using next generation sequencing reads requires large computer memory and a long execution time. To reduce these requirements, we propose an extension-based assembler, called JR-Assembler, where J and R stand for "jumping" extension and read "remapping." First, it uses the read count to select good quality reads as seeds. Second, it extends each seed by a whole-read extension process, which expedites the extension process and can jump over short repeats. Third, it uses a dynamic back trimming process to avoid extension termination due to sequencing errors. Fourth, it remaps reads to each assembled sequence, and if an assembly error occurs by the presence of a repeat, it breaks the contig at the repeat boundaries. Fifth, it applies a less stringent extension criterion to connect low-coverage regions. Finally, it merges contigs by unused reads. An extensive comparison of JR-Assembler with current assemblers using datasets from small, medium, and large genomes shows that JR-Assembler achieves a better or comparable overall assembly quality and requires lower memory use and less central processing unit time, especially for large genomes. Finally, a simulation study shows that JR-Assembler achieves a superior performance on memory use and central processing unit time than most current assemblers when the read length is 150 bp or longer, indicating that the advantages of JR-Assembler over current assemblers will increase as the read length increases with advances in next generation sequencing technology.
Project description:Molecular nanotechnology is a rapidly developing field, and tremendous progress has been made in developing synthetic molecular machines. One long-sought after nanotechnology is systems able to achieve the assembly-line like production of molecules. Here we report the discovery of a rudimentary synthetic molecular assembler that produces polymers. The molecular assembler is a supramolecular aggregate of bifunctional surfactants produced by the reaction of two phase-separated reactants. Initially self-reproduction of the bifunctional surfactants is observed, but once it reaches a critical concentration the assembler starts to produce polymers instead of supramolecular aggregates. The polymer size can be controlled by adjusting temperature, reaction time, or introducing a capping agent. There has been considerable debate about molecular assemblers in the context of nanotechnology, our demonstration that primitive assemblers may arise from simple phase separated reactants may provide a new direction for the design of functional supramolecular systems.
Project description:Salmonella typhimurium synthesizes cobalamin (vitamin B12) de novo under anaerobic conditions. Of the 30 cobalamin synthetic genes, 25 are clustered in one operon, cob, and are arranged in three groups, each group encoding enzymes for a biochemically distinct portion of the biosynthetic pathway. We have determined the DNA sequence for the promoter region and the proximal 17.1 kb of the cob operon. This sequence includes 20 translationally coupled genes that encode the enzymes involved in parts I and III of the cobalamin biosynthetic pathway. A comparison of these genes with the cobalamin synthetic genes from Pseudomonas denitrificans allows assignment of likely functions to 12 of the 20 sequenced Salmonella genes. Three additional Salmonella genes encode proteins likely to be involved in the transport of cobalt, a component of vitamin B12. However, not all Salmonella and Pseudomonas cobalamin synthetic genes have apparent homologs in the other species. These differences suggest that the cobalamin biosynthetic pathways differ between the two organisms. The evolution of these genes and their chromosomal positions is discussed.
Project description:The marine actinomycete genus Salinispora is a remarkably prolific source of structurally diverse and biologically active secondary metabolites. Herein, we select the model organism Salinispora tropica CNB-440 for development as a heterologous host for the expression of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) to complement well-established Streptomyces host strains. In order to create an integratable host with a clean background of secondary metabolism, we replaced three genes (salA-C) essential for salinosporamide biosynthesis with a cassette containing the Streptomyces coelicolor ?C31 phage attachment site attB to generate the mutant S. tropica CNB-4401 via double-crossover recombination. This mutagenesis not only knocks-in the attachment site attB in the genome of S. tropica CNB-440 but also abolishes production of the salinosporamides, thereby simplifying the strain's chemical background. We validated this new heterologous host with the successful integration and expression of the thiolactomycin BGC that we recently identified in several S. pacifica strains. When compared to the extensively engineered superhost S. coelicolor M1152, the production of thiolactomycins from S. tropica CNB-4401 was approximately 3-fold higher. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of using a marine actinomycete as a heterologous host for natural product BGC expression. The established heterologous host may provide a useful platform to accelerate the discovery of novel natural products and engineer biosynthetic pathways.
Project description:Using an established CRISPR-Cas mediated genome editing technique for streptomycetes, we explored the combinatorial biosynthesis potential of the auroramycin biosynthetic gene cluster in Streptomyces roseosporous. Auroramycin is a potent anti-MRSA polyene macrolactam. In addition, auroramycin has antifungal activities, which is unique among structurally similar polyene macrolactams, such as incednine and silvalactam. In this work, we employed different engineering strategies to target glycosylation and acylation biosynthetic machineries within its recently elucidated biosynthetic pathway. Auroramycin analogs with variations in C-, N- methylation, hydroxylation and extender units incorporation were produced and characterized. By comparing the bioactivity profiles of five of these analogs, we determined that unique disaccharide motif of auroramycin is essential for its antimicrobial bioactivity. We further demonstrated that C-methylation of the 3, 5-epi-lemonose unit, which is unique among structurally similar polyene macrolactams, is key to its antifungal activity.
Project description:The use of DNA sequencing to guide the discovery of natural products has emerged as a new paradigm for revealing chemistries encoded in bacterial genomes. A major obstacle to implementing this approach to natural product discovery is the transcriptional silence of biosynthetic gene clusters under laboratory growth conditions. Here we describe an improved yeast-based promoter engineering platform (mCRISTAR) that combines CRISPR/Cas9 and TAR to enable single-marker multiplexed promoter engineering of large gene clusters. mCRISTAR highlights the first application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to multiplexed promoter engineering of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. In this method, CRISPR/Cas9 is used to induce DNA double-strand breaks in promoter regions of biosynthetic gene clusters, and the resulting operon fragments are reassembled by TAR using synthetic gene-cluster-specific promoter cassettes. mCRISTAR uses a CRISPR array to simplify the construction of a CRISPR plasmid for multiplex CRISPR and a single auxotrophic selection to improve the inefficiency of using a CRISPR array for multiplex gene cluster refactoring. mCRISTAR is a simple and generic method for multiplexed replacement of promoters in biosynthetic gene clusters that will facilitate the discovery of natural products from the rapidly growing collection of gene clusters found in microbial genome and metagenome sequencing projects.
Project description:Crocins are a group of highly valuable apocarotenoid-derived pigments mainly produced in Crocus sativus stigmas and Gardenia jasminoides fruits, which display great pharmacological activities for human health, such as anticancer, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, and preventing Alzheimer's disease. However, traditional sources of crocins are no longer sufficient to meet current demands. The recent clarification of the crocin biosynthetic pathway opens up the possibility of large-scale production of crocins by synthetic metabolic engineering methods. In this review, we mainly introduce the crocin biosynthetic pathway, subcellular route, related key enzymes, and its synthetic metabolic engineering, as well as its challenges and prospects, with a view to providing useful references for further studies on the synthetic metabolic engineering of crocins.
Project description:We report the results of cloning genes for two key biosynthetic enzymes of different 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) biosynthetic routes from Streptomyces. The genes encode the glutamyl-tRNAGlu reductase (GluTR) of the C5 pathway and the ALA synthase (ALAS) of the Shemin pathway. While Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) synthesizes ALA via the C5 route, both pathways are operational in Streptomyces nodosus subsp. asukaensis, a producer of asukamycin. In this strain, the C5 route produces ALA for tetrapyrrole biosynthesis; the ALA formed by the Shemin pathway serves as a precursor of the 2-amino-3-hydroxycyclopent-2-enone moiety (C5N unit), an antibiotic component. The growth of S. nodosus and S. coelicolor strains deficient in the GluTR genes (gtr) is strictly dependent on ALA or heme supplementation, whereas the defect in the ALAS-encoding gene (hemA-asuA) abolishes the asukamycin production in S. nodosus. The recombinant hemA-asuA gene was expressed in Escherichia coli and in Streptomyces, and the encoded enzyme activity was demonstrated both in vivo and in vitro. The hemA-asuA gene is situated within a putative cluster of asukamycin biosynthetic genes. This is the first report about the cloning of genes for two different ALA biosynthetic routes from a single bacterium.
Project description:Motivation:The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) program has produced huge amounts of cancer genomics data providing unprecedented opportunities for research. In 2014, we developed TCGA-Assembler, a software pipeline for retrieval and processing of public TCGA data. In 2016, TCGA data were transferred from the TCGA data portal to the Genomic Data Commons (GDCs), which is supported by a different set of data storage and retrieval mechanisms. In addition, new proteomics data of TCGA samples have been generated by the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) program, which were not available for downloading through TCGA-Assembler. It is desirable to acquire and integrate data from both GDC and CPTAC. Results:We develop TCGA-assembler 2 (TA2) to automatically download and integrate data from GDC and CPTAC. We make substantial improvement on the functionality of TA2 to enhance user experience and software performance. TA2 together with its previous version have helped more than 2000 researchers from 64 countries to access and utilize TCGA and CPTAC data in their research. Availability of TA2 will continue to allow existing and new users to conduct reproducible research based on TCGA and CPTAC data. Availability and implementation:http://www.compgenome.org/TCGA-Assembler/ or https://github.com/compgenome365/TCGA-Assembler-2. Contact:email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Supplementary information:Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.