Identification of a Polyketide Synthase Involved in Sorbicillin Biosynthesis by Penicillium chrysogenum.
ABSTRACT: Secondary metabolism in Penicillium chrysogenum was intensively subjected to classical strain improvement (CSI), the resulting industrial strains producing high levels of ?-lactams. During this process, the production of yellow pigments, including sorbicillinoids, was eliminated as part of a strategy to enable the rapid purification of ?-lactams. Here we report the identification of the polyketide synthase (PKS) gene essential for sorbicillinoid biosynthesis in P. chrysogenum We demonstrate that the production of polyketide precursors like sorbicillinol and dihydrosorbicillinol as well as their derivatives bisorbicillinoids requires the function of a highly reducing PKS encoded by the gene Pc21g05080 (pks13). This gene belongs to the cluster that was mutated and transcriptionally silenced during the strain improvement program. Using an improved ?-lactam-producing strain, repair of the mutation in pks13 led to the restoration of sorbicillinoid production. This now enables genetic studies on the mechanism of sorbicillinoid biosynthesis in P. chrysogenum and opens new perspectives for pathway engineering.Sorbicillinoids are secondary metabolites with antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities produced by filamentous fungi. This study identified the gene cluster responsible for sorbicillinoid formation in Penicillium chrysogenum, which now allows engineering of this diverse group of compounds.
Project description:Penicillium chrysogenum is a filamentous fungus that is used to produce ?-lactams at an industrial scale. At an early stage of classical strain improvement, the ability to produce the yellow-coloured sorbicillinoids was lost through mutation. Sorbicillinoids are highly bioactive of great pharmaceutical interest. By repair of a critical mutation in one of the two polyketide synthases in an industrial P. chrysogenum strain, sorbicillinoid production was restored at high levels. Using this strain, the sorbicillin biosynthesis pathway was elucidated through gene deletion, overexpression and metabolite profiling. The polyketide synthase enzymes SorA and SorB are required to generate the key intermediates sorbicillin and dihydrosorbicillin, which are subsequently converted to (dihydro)sorbillinol by the FAD-dependent monooxygenase SorC and into the final product oxosorbicillinol by the oxidoreductase SorD. Deletion of either of the two pks genes not only impacted the overall production but also strongly reduce the expression of the pathway genes. Expression is regulated through the interplay of two transcriptional regulators: SorR1 and SorR2. SorR1 acts as a transcriptional activator, while SorR2 controls the expression of sorR1. Furthermore, the sorbicillinoid pathway is regulated through a novel autoinduction mechanism where sorbicillinoids activate transcription.
Project description:Sorbicillinoids are a diverse group of yellow secondary metabolites that are produced by a range of not closely related ascomycetes, including <i>Penicillium chrysogenum</i>, <i>Acremonium chrysogenum</i>, and <i>Trichoderma reesei</i>. They share a similarity to the name-giving compound sorbicillin, a hexaketide. Previously, a conserved gene cluster containing two polyketide synthases has been identified as the source of sorbicillin, and a model for the biosynthesis of sorbicillin in <i>P. chrysogenum</i> has been proposed. In this study, we deleted the major genes of interest of the cluster in <i>T. reesei</i>, namely <i>sor1</i>, <i>sor3</i>, and <i>sor4</i>. Sor1 is the homolog of <i>P. chrysogenum</i> SorA, which is the first polyketide synthase of the proposed biosynthesis pathway. Sor3 is a flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent monooxygenase, and its homolog in <i>P. chrysogenum</i>, SorC, was shown to oxidize sorbicillin and 2',3'-dihydrosorbicillin to sorbicillinol and 2',3'-dihydrosorbicillinol, respectively, <i>in vitro</i>. Sor4 is an FAD/flavin mononucleotide-containing dehydrogenase with an unknown function. We measured the amounts of synthesized sorbicillinoids throughout growth and could verify the roles of Sor1 and Sor3 <i>in vivo</i> in <i>T. reesei</i>. In the absence of Sor4, two compounds annotated to dihydrosorbicillinol accumulate in the supernatant and only small amounts of sorbicillinol are synthesized. Therefore, we suggest extending the current biosynthesis model about Sor4 reducing 2',3'-dihydrosorbicillin and 2',3'-dihydrosorbicillinol to sorbicillinol and sorbicillinol, respectively. Sorbicillinol turned out to be the main chemical building block for most sorbicillinoids, including oxosorbicillinol, bisorbicillinol, and bisvertinolon. Further, we detected the sorbicillinol-dependent synthesis of 5-hydroxyvertinolide at early time points, which contradicts previous models for biosynthesis of 5-hydroxyvertinolide. Finally, we investigated whether sorbicillinoids from <i>T. reesei</i> have a growth limiting effect on the fungus itself or on plant pathogenic fungi or on pathogenic bacteria.
Project description:Sorbicillinoids are a family of complex cyclic polyketides produced by only a small number of distantly related ascomycete fungi such as Trichoderma (Sordariomycetes) and Penicillium (Eurotiomycetes). In T. reesei, they are synthesized by a gene cluster consisting of eight genes including two polyketide synthases (PKS). To reconstruct the evolutionary origin of this gene cluster, we examined the occurrence of these eight genes in ascomycetes.A cluster comprising at least six of them was only found in Hypocreales (Acremonium chrysogenum, Ustilaginoidea virens, Trichoderma species from section Longibrachiatum) and in Penicillium rubens (Eurotiales). In addition, Colletotrichum graminicola contained the two pks (sor1 and sor2), but not the other sor genes. A. chrysogenum was the evolutionary eldest species in which sor1, sor2, sor3, sor4 and sor6 were present. Sor5 was gained by lateral gene transfer (LGT) from P. rubens. In the younger Hypocreales (U. virens, Trichoderma spp.), the cluster evolved by vertical transfer, but sor2 was lost and regained by LGT from C. graminicola. SorB (=sor2) and sorD (=sor4) were symplesiomorphic in P. rubens, whereas sorA, sorC and sorF were obtained by LGT from A. chrysogenum, and sorE by LGT from Pestalotiopsis fici (Xylariales). The sorbicillinoid gene cluster in Trichoderma section Longibrachiatum is under strong purifying selection. The T. reesei sor genes are expressed during fast vegetative growth, during antagonism of other fungi and regulated by the secondary metabolism regulator LAE1.Our findings pinpoint the evolution of the fungal sorbicillinoid biosynthesis gene cluster. The core cluster arose in early Hypocreales, and was complemented by LGT. During further speciation in the Hypocreales, it became subject to birth and death evolution in selected lineages. In P. rubrens (Eurotiales), two cluster genes were symplesiomorphic, and the whole cluster formed by LGT from at least two different fungal donors.
Project description:The Pc21 g14570 gene of Penicillium chrysogenum encodes an ortholog of a class 2 histone deacetylase termed HdaA which may play a role in epigenetic regulation of secondary metabolism. Deletion of the hdaA gene induces a significant pleiotropic effect on the expression of a set of polyketide synthase (PKS) and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS)-encoding genes. The deletion mutant exhibits a decreased conidial pigmentation that is related to a reduced expression of the PKS gene Pc21 g16000 (pks17) responsible for the production of the pigment precursor naphtha-?-pyrone. Moreover, the hdaA deletion caused decreased levels of the yellow pigment chrysogine that is associated with the downregulation of the NRPS-encoding gene Pc21 g12630 and associated biosynthetic gene cluster. In contrast, transcriptional activation of the sorbicillinoids biosynthetic gene cluster occurred concomitantly with the overproduction of associated compounds . A new compound was detected in the deletion strain that was observed only under conditions of sorbicillinoids production, suggesting crosstalk between biosynthetic gene clusters. Our present results show that an epigenomic approach can be successfully applied for the activation of secondary metabolism in industrial strains of P. chrysogenum.
Project description:An FAD-dependent monooxygenase encoding gene (SorbC) was cloned from Penicillium chrysogenum E01-10/3 and expressed as a soluble protein in Escherichia coli. The enzyme efficiently performed the oxidative dearomatisation of sorbicillin and dihydrosorbicillin to give sorbicillinol and dihydrosorbicillinol respectively. Bioinformatic examination of the gene cluster surrounding SorbC indicated the presence of two polyketide synthase (PKS) encoding genes designated sorbA and sorbB. The gene sorbA-encodes a highly reducing iterative PKS while SorbB encodes a non-reducing iterative PKS which features a reductive release domain usually involved in the production of polyketide aldehydes. Using these observations and previously reported results from isotopic feeding experiments a new and simpler biosynthetic route to the sorbicillin class of secondary metabolites is proposed which is consistent with all reported experimental results.
Project description:Background:In addition to its outstanding cellulase production ability, Trichoderma reesei produces a wide variety of valuable secondary metabolites, the production of which has not received much attention to date. Among them, sorbicillinoids, a large group of hexaketide secondary metabolites derived from polyketides, are drawing a growing interest from researchers because they exhibit a variety of important biological functions, including anticancer, antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. The development of fungi strains with constitutive, hyperproduction of sorbicillinoids is thus desired for future industry application but is not well-studied. Moreover, although T. reesei has been demonstrated to produce sorbicillinoids with the corresponding gene cluster and biosynthesis pathway proposed, the underlying molecular mechanism governing sorbicillinoid biosynthesis remains unknown. Results:Recombinant T. reesei ZC121 was constructed from strain RUT-C30 by the insertion of the gene 12121-knockout cassette at the telomere of T. reesei chromosome IV in consideration of the off-target mutagenesis encountered during the unsuccessful deletion of gene 121121. Strain ZC121, when grown on cellulose, showed a sharp reduction of cellulase production, but yet a remarkable enhancement of sorbicillinoids production as compared to strain RUT-C30. The hyperproduction of sorbicillinoids is a constitutive process, independent of culture conditions such as carbon source, light, pH, and temperature. To the best of our knowledge, strain ZC121 displays record sorbicillinoid production levels when grown on both glucose and cellulose. Sorbicillinol and bisvertinolone are the two major sorbicillinoid compounds produced. ZC121 displayed a different morphology and markedly reduced sporulation compared to RUT-C30 but had a similar growth rate and biomass. Transcriptome analysis showed that most genes involved in cellulase production were downregulated significantly in ZC121 grown on cellulose, whereas remarkably all genes in the sorbicillinoid gene cluster were upregulated on both cellulose and glucose. Conclusion:A constitutive sorbicillinoid-hyperproduction strain T. reesei ZC121 was obtained by off-target mutagenesis, displaying an overwhelming shift from cellulase production to sorbicillinoid production on cellulose, leading to a record for sorbicillinoid production. For the first time, T. reesei degraded cellulose to produce platform chemical compounds other than protein in high yield. We propose that the off-target mutagenesis occurring at the telomere region might cause chromosome remodeling and subsequently alter the cell structure and the global gene expression pattern of strain ZC121, as shown by phenotype profiling and comparative transcriptome analysis of ZC121. Overall, T. reesei ZC121 holds great promise for the industrial production of sorbicillinoids and serves as a good model to explore the regulation mechanism of sorbicillinoids' biosynthesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:There are eighteen species within the Penicillium genus section chrysogena, including the original penicillin producers Penicillium notatum (Fleming strain) and Penicillium chrysogenum NRRL 1951. Other wild type isolates of the Penicillium genus are relevant for the production of useful proteins and primary or secondary metabolites. The aim of this article is to characterize strain specific genes and those genes which are involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis, particularly the mutations that have been introduced during the ?-lactams strain improvement programs. RESULTS:The available genomes of several classical and novel P. chrysogenum strains have been compared. The first genome sequenced was that of the reference strain P. chrysogenum Wis54-1255, which derives from the wild type P. chrysogenum NRRL 1951; its genome size is 32.19 Mb and it encodes 12,943 proteins. Four chromosomes were resolved in P. chrysogenum and P. notatum by pulse field gel electrophoresis. The genomes of three industrial strains have a similar size but contain gene duplications and truncations; the penicillin gene cluster copy number ranges from one in the wild type to twelve in the P. chrysogenum ASP-E1 industrial strain and is organized in head to tail tandem repeats. The genomes of two new strains, P. chrysogenum KF-25, a producer of antifungal proteins isolated from a soil sample, and P. chrysogenum HKF2, a strain with carbohydrate-converting activities isolated from a sludge treatment plant, showed strain specific genes. CONCLUSIONS:The overall comparison of all available P. chrysogenum genomes indicates that there are a significant number of strain-specific genes, mutations of structural and regulatory genes, gene cluster duplications and DNA fragment translocations. This information provides important leads to improve the biosynthesis of enzymes, antifungal agents, prebiotics or different types of secondary metabolites.
Project description:The sorbicillinoids are a class of biologically active and structurally diverse fungal polyketides arising from sorbicillin. Through co-expression of sorA, sorB, sorC, and sorD from Trichoderma reesei QM6a, the biosynthetic pathway to epoxysorbicillinol and dimeric sorbicillinoids, which resemble Diels-Alder-like and Michael-addition-like products, was reconstituted in Aspergillus oryzae NSAR1. Expression and feeding experiments demonstrated the crucial requirement of the flavin-dependent monooxygenase SorD for the formation of dimeric sorbicillinoids, hybrid sorbicillinoids, and epoxysorbicillinol in?vivo. In contrast to prior reports, SorD catalyses neither the oxidation of 2',3'-dihydrosorbicillin to sorbicillin nor the oxidation of sorbicillinol to oxosorbicillinol. This is the first report that both the intermolecular Diels-Alder and Michael dimerization reactions, as well as the epoxidation of sorbicillinol are catalysed in?vivo by SorD.
Project description:Resorcylic acid lactones represent a unique class of fungal polyketides and display a wide range of biological activities, such as nanomolar inhibitors of Hsp90 and MAP kinase. The biosynthesis of these compounds is proposed to involve two fungal polyketide synthases (PKS) that function collaboratively to yield a 14-membered macrolactone with a resorcylate core. We report here the reconstitution of Gibberella zeae PKS13, which is the nonreducing PKS associated with zearalenone biosynthesis. Using a small molecule mimic of the natural hexaketide starter unit, we reconstituted the entire repertoire of PKS13 activities in vitro, including starter-unit selection, iterative condensation, regioselective C2-C7 cyclization, and macrolactone formation. PKS13 synthesized both natural 14-membered and previously uncharacterized 16-membered resorcylic acid lactones, indicating relaxed control in both iterative elongation and macrocyclization. PKS13 exhibited broad starter-unit specificities toward fatty acyl-CoAs ranging in sizes between C6 and C16 and displayed the highest activity toward decanoyl-CoA. PKS13 was shown to be active in Escherichia coli and synthesized numerous alkyl pyrones and alkyl resorcylic esters without exogenously supplied precursors. We demonstrated that PKS13 can interact with E. coli fatty acid biosynthetic machinery and can be primed with fatty-acyl ACPp at low-micromolar concentrations. PKS13 synthesized new polyketides in E. coli when the culture was supplemented with synthetic precursors, showcasing its utility in precursor-directed biosynthesis. PKS13 is therefore a highly versatile polyketide macrolactone synthase that is useful in the engineered biosynthesis of polyketides, including resorcylic acid lactones that are not found in nature.
Project description:The high-yielding production of pharmaceutically significant secondary metabolites in filamentous fungi is obtained by random mutagenesis; such changes may be associated with shifts in the metabolism of polyamines. We have previously shown that, in the Acremonium chrysogenum cephalosporin C high-yielding strain (HY), the content of endogenous polyamines increased by four- to five-fold. Other studies have shown that the addition of exogenous polyamines can increase the production of target secondary metabolites in highly active fungal producers, in particular, increase the biosynthesis of β-lactams in the Penicillium chrysogenum Wis 54–1255 strain, an improved producer of penicillin G. In the current study, we demonstrate that the introduction of exogenous polyamines, such as spermidine or 1,3-diaminopropane, to A. chrysogenum wild-type (WT) and HY strains, leads to an increase in colony germination and morphological changes in a complete agar medium. The addition of 5 mM polyamines during fermentation increases the production of cephalosporin C in the A. chrysogenum HY strain by 15–20% and upregulates genes belonging to the beta-lactam biosynthetic cluster. The data obtained indicate the intersection of the metabolisms of polyamines and beta-lactams in A. chrysogenum and are important for the construction of improved producers of secondary metabolites in filamentous fungi.