Identification and Heterologous Production of a Benzoyl-Primed Tricarboxylic Acid Polyketide Intermediate from the Zaragozic Acid A Biosynthetic Pathway.
ABSTRACT: Zaragozic acid A (1) is a potent cholesterol lowering, polyketide natural product made by various filamentous fungi. The reconstitution of enzymes responsible for the initial steps of the biosynthetic pathway of 1 is accomplished using an engineered fungal heterologous host. These initial steps feature the priming of a benzoic acid starter unit onto a highly reducing polyketide synthase (HRPKS), followed by oxaloacetate extension and product release to generate a tricarboxylic acid containing product 2. The reconstitution studies demonstrated that only three enzymes, HRPKS, citrate synthase, and hydrolase, are needed in A. nidulans to produce the structurally complex product.
Project description:The dimorphic fungus Candida albicans produces farnesol as a quorum-sensing molecule that regulates cellular morphology. The biosynthetic origin of farnesol has been resolved by treating these cells with zaragozic acid B, a potent inhibitor of squalene synthase in the sterol biosynthetic pathway. Treatment with zaragozic acid B leads to an eightfold increase in the amount of farnesol produced by C. albicans. Furthermore, C. albicans cell extracts contain enzymatic activity to convert [(3)H]farnesyl pyrophosphate to [(3)H]farnesol. Many common antifungal antibiotics (e.g., zaragozic acids, azoles, and allylamines) target steps in sterol biosynthesis. We suggest that the fungicidal activity of zaragozic acid derives in large part from the accumulation of farnesol that accompanies the inhibition of sterol biosynthesis.
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.
Project description:Fungal highly reducing polyketide synthases (HRPKSs) are an enigmatic group of multidomain enzymes that catalyze the biosynthesis of structurally diverse compounds. This variety stems from their intrinsic programming rules, which permutate the use of tailoring domains and determine the overall number of iterative cycles. From genome sequencing and mining of the producing strain Eupenicillium brefeldianum ATCC 58665, we identified an HRPKS involved in the biosynthesis of an important protein transport-inhibitor Brefeldin A (BFA), followed by reconstitution of its activity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in vitro. Bref-PKS demonstrated an NADPH-dependent reductive tailoring specificity that led to the synthesis of four different octaketide products with varying degrees of reduction. Furthermore, contrary to what is expected from the structure of BFA, Bref-PKS is found to be a nonaketide synthase in the absence of an associated thiohydrolase Bref-TH. Such chain-length control by the partner thiohydrolase was found to be present in other HRPKS systems and highlights the importance of including tailoring enzyme activities in predicting fungal HRPKS functions and their products.
Project description:Despite the prevalence of repeating subunits in chiral natural products, stereocontrolled oligomerization is a largely unexplored strategy for construction of carbon skeletal frameworks. This report describes the use of silyl glyoxylates as dipolar glycolic acid synthons in a controlled oligomerization reaction for the efficient construction of the squalene synthase inhibitor zaragozic acid C. This new methodology allows rapid, stereocontrolled formation of the carbon skeleton with a desirable protecting group scheme while minimizing functional group repair and oxidation state manipulations.
Project description:Fungal highly reducing polyketide synthases (HRPKSs) biosynthesize polyketides using a single set of domains iteratively. Product release is a critical step in HRPKS function to ensure timely termination and enzyme turnover. Nearly all of the HRPKSs characterized to date employ a separate thioesterase (TE) or acyltransferase enzyme for product release. In this study, we characterized two fungal HRPKSs that have fused C-terminal TE domains, a new domain architecture for fungal HRPKSs. We showed that both HRPKS-TEs synthesize aminoacylated polyketides in an ATP-independent fashion. The KU42 TE domain selects cysteine and homocysteine and catalyzes transthioesterification using the side-chain thiol group as the nucleophile. In contrast, the KU43 TE domain selects leucine methyl ester and performs a direct amidation of the polyketide, a reaction typically catalyzed by nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) domains. The characterization of these HRPKS-TE enzymes showcases the functional diversity of HRPKS enzymes and provides potential TE domains as biocatalytic tools to diversify HRPKS structures.
Project description:Fungal polyketide synthases (PKSs) can function collaboratively to synthesize natural products of significant structural diversity. Here we present a new mode of collaboration between a highly reducing PKS (HRPKS) and a PKS-nonribosomal peptide synthetase (PKS-NRPS) in the synthesis of oxaleimides from the Penicillium species. The HRPKS is recruited in the synthesis of an olefin-containing free amino acid, which is activated and incorporated by the adenylation domain of the PKS-NRPS. The precisely positioned olefin from the unnatural amino acid is proposed to facilitate a scaffold rearrangement of the PKS-NRPS product to forge the maleimide and succinimide cores of oxaleimides.
Project description:Fungal polyketides have significant biological activities, yet the biosynthesis by highly reducing polyketide synthases (HRPKSs) remains enigmatic. An uncharacterized group of HRPKSs was found to contain a C-terminal domain with significant homology to carnitine O-acyltransferase (cAT). Characterization of one such HRPKS (Tv6-931) from Trichoderma virens showed that the cAT domain is capable of esterifying the polyketide product with polyalcohol nucleophiles. This process is readily reversible, as confirmed through the holo ACP-dependent transesterification of the released product. The methyltransferase (MT) domain of Tv6-931 can perform two consecutive ?-methylation steps on the last ?-keto intermediate to yield an ?,?-gem-dimethyl product, a new programing feature among HRPKSs. Recapturing of the released product by cAT domain is suggested to facilitate complete gem-dimethylation by the MT.
Project description:1,8-Dihydroxynaphthalene (1,8-DHN) is a fungal polyketide that contributes to virulence when polymerized to 1,8-DHN melanin in the cell walls of Wangiella dermatitidis, an agent of phaeohyphomycosis in humans. To begin a genetic analysis of the initial synthetic steps leading to 1,8-DHN melanin biosynthesis, a 772-bp PCR product was amplified from genomic DNA using primers based on conserved regions of fungal polyketide synthases (Pks) known to produce the first cyclized 1,8-DHN-melanin pathway intermediate, 1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynaphthalene. The cloned PCR product was then used as a targeting sequence to disrupt the putative polyketide synthase gene, WdPKS1, in W. dermatitidis. The resulting wdpks1Delta disruptants showed no morphological defects other than an albino phenotype and grew at the same rate as their black wild-type parent. Using a marker rescue approach, the intact WdPKS1 gene was then successfully recovered from two plasmids. The WdPKS1 gene was also isolated independently by complementation of the mel3 mutation in an albino mutant of W. dermatitidis using a cosmid library. Sequence analysis substantiated that WdPKS1 encoded a putative polyketide synthase (WdPks1p) in a single open reading frame consisting of three exons separated by two short introns. This conclusion was supported by the identification of highly conserved Pks domains for a beta-ketoacyl synthase, an acetyl-malonyl transferase, two acyl carrier proteins, and a thioesterase in the deduced amino acid sequence. Studies using a neutrophil killing assay and a mouse acute-infection model confirmed that all wdpks1Delta strains were less resistant to killing and less virulent, respectively, than their wild-type parent. Reconstitution of 1,8-DHN melanin biosynthesis in a wdpks1Delta strain reestablished its resistance to killing by neutrophils and its ability to cause fatal mouse infections.
Project description:Zaragozic acids (ZAs) belong to a family of fungal metabolites with nanomolar inhibitory activity toward squalene synthase (SQS). The enzyme catalyzes the committed step of sterol synthesis and has attracted attention as a potential target for antilipogenic and antiinfective therapies. Here, we have determined the structure of ZA-A complexed with human SQS. ZA-A binding induces a local conformational change in the substrate binding site, and its C-6 acyl group also extends over to the cofactor binding cavity. In addition, ZA-A effectively inhibits a homologous bacterial enzyme, dehydrosqualene synthase (CrtM), which synthesizes the precursor of staphyloxanthin in Staphylococcus aureus to cope with oxidative stress. Size reduction at Tyr(248) in CrtM further increases the ZA-A binding affinity, and it reveals a similar overall inhibitor binding mode to that of human SQS/ZA-A except for the C-6 acyl group. These structures pave the way for further improving selectivity and development of a new generation of anticholesterolemic and antimicrobial inhibitors.
Project description:Glycosylation is a common modification reaction in natural product biosynthesis and has been known to be a post-assembly line tailoring process in glycosylated polyketide biosynthesis. Here, we show that in pactamycin biosynthesis, glycosylation can take place on an acyl carrier protein (ACP)-bound polyketide intermediate. Using in vivo gene inactivation, chemical complementation and in vitro pathway reconstitution, we demonstrate that the 3-aminoacetophenone moiety of pactamycin is derived from 3-aminobenzoic acid by a set of discrete polyketide synthase proteins via a 3-(3-aminophenyl)3-oxopropionyl-ACP intermediate. This ACP-bound intermediate is then glycosylated by an N-glycosyltransferase, PtmJ, providing a sugar precursor for the formation of the aminocyclopentitol core structure of pactamycin. This is the first example of glycosylation of a small molecule while tethered to a carrier protein. Additionally, we demonstrate that PtmO is a hydrolase that is responsible for the release of the ACP-bound product to a free ?-ketoacid that subsequently undergoes decarboxylation.