Probing the modularity of megasynthases by rational engineering of a fatty acid synthase Type I.
ABSTRACT: Modularity is a fundamental property of megasynthases such as polyketide synthases (PKSs). In this study, we exploit the close resemblance between PKSs and animal fatty acid synthase (FAS) to re-engineer animal FAS to probe the modularity of the FAS/PKS family. Guided by sequence and structural information, we truncate and dissect animal FAS into its components, and reassemble them to generate new PKS-like modules as well as bimodular constructs. The novel re-engineered modules resemble all four common types of PKSs and demonstrate that this approach can be a powerful tool to deliver products with higher catalytic efficiency. Our data exemplify the inherent plasticity and robustness of the overall FAS/PKS fold, and open new avenues to explore FAS-based biosynthetic pathways for custom compound design.
Project description:Engineering of assembly line polyketide synthases (PKSs) to produce novel bioactive compounds has been a goal for over 20 years. The apparent modularity of PKSs has inspired many engineering attempts in which entire modules or single domains were exchanged. In recent years, it has become evident that certain domain-domain interactions are evolutionarily optimized and, if disrupted, cause a decrease of the overall turnover rate of the chimeric PKS. In this study, we compared different types of chimeric PKSs in order to define the least invasive interface and to expand the toolbox for PKS engineering. We generated bimodular chimeric PKSs in which entire modules were exchanged, while either retaining a covalent linker between heterologous modules or introducing a noncovalent docking domain, or SYNZIP domain, mediated interface. These chimeric systems exhibited non-native domain-domain interactions during intermodular polyketide chain translocation. They were compared to otherwise equivalent bimodular PKSs in which a noncovalent interface was introduced between the condensing and processing parts of a module, resulting in non-native domain interactions during the extender unit acylation and polyketide chain elongation steps of their catalytic cycles. We show that the natural PKS docking domains can be efficiently substituted with SYNZIP domains and that the newly introduced noncovalent interface between the condensing and processing parts of a module can be harnessed for PKS engineering. Additionally, we established SYNZIP domains as a new tool for engineering PKSs by efficiently bridging non-native interfaces without perturbing PKS activity.
Project description:The potential for recombining intact polyketide synthase (PKS) modules has been extensively explored. Both enzyme-substrate and protein-protein interactions influence chimeric PKS activity, but their relative contributions are unclear. We now address this issue by studying a library of 11 bimodular and 8 trimodular chimeric PKSs harboring modules from the erythromycin, rifamycin, and rapamycin synthases. Although many chimeras yielded detectable products, nearly all had specific activities below 10% of the reference natural PKSs. Analysis of selected bimodular chimeras, each with the same upstream module, revealed that turnover correlated with the efficiency of intermodular chain translocation. Mutation of the acyl carrier protein (ACP) domain of the upstream module in one chimera at a residue predicted to influence ketosynthase-ACP recognition led to improved turnover. In contrast, replacement of the ketoreductase domain of the upstream module by a paralog that produced the enantiomeric ACP-bound diketide caused no changes in processing rates for each of six heterologous downstream modules compared with those of the native diketide. Taken together, these results demonstrate that protein-protein interactions play a larger role than enzyme-substrate recognition in the evolution or design of catalytically efficient chimeric PKSs.
Project description:Assembly line polyketide synthases (PKSs) are remarkable biosynthetic machines with considerable potential for structure-based engineering. Several types of protein-protein interactions, both within and between PKS modules, play important roles in the catalytic cycle of a multimodular PKS. Additionally, vectorial biosynthesis is enabled by the energetic coupling of polyketide chain elongation to the channeling of intermediates between successive modules. A combination of high-resolution analysis of smaller PKS components and lower resolution characterization of intact modules and bimodules has yielded insights into the structure and organization of a prototypical assembly line PKS. This review discusses our understanding of key structure-function relationships in this family of megasynthases, along with a recap of key unanswered questions in the field.
Project description:The crystallization of proteins remains a bottleneck in our fundamental understanding of their functions. Therefore, discovering tools that aid crystallization is crucial. In this review, the versatility of fragment-antigen binding domains (F<sub>ab</sub>s) as protein crystallization chaperones is discussed. F<sub>ab</sub>s have aided the crystallization of membrane-bound and soluble proteins as well as RNA. The ability to bind three F<sub>ab</sub>s onto a single protein target has demonstrated their potential for crystallization of challenging proteins. We describe a high-throughput workflow for identifying F<sub>ab</sub>s to aid the crystallization of a protein of interest (POI) by leveraging phage display technologies and differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF). This workflow has proven to be especially effective in our structural studies of assembly-line polyketide synthases (PKSs), which harbor flexible domains and assume transient conformations. PKSs are of interest to us due to their ability to synthesize an unusually broad range of medicinally relevant compounds. Despite years of research studying these megasynthases, their overall topology has remained elusive. One F<sub>ab</sub> in particular, 1B2, has successfully enabled X-ray crystallographic and single particle cryo-electron microscopic (cryoEM) analyses of multiple modules from distinct assembly-line PKSs. Its use has not only facilitated multidomain protein crystallization but has also enhanced particle quality via cryoEM, thereby enabling the visualization of intact PKS modules at near-atomic (3-5 Å) resolution. The identification of PKS-binding F<sub>ab</sub>s can be expected to continue playing a key role in furthering our knowledge of polyketide biosynthesis on assembly-line PKSs.
Project description:There is significant interest in diversifying the structures of polyketides to create new analogues of these bioactive molecules. This has traditionally been done by focusing on engineering the acyltransferase (AT) domains of polyketide synthases (PKSs) responsible for the incorporation of malonyl-CoA extender units. Non-natural extender units have been utilized by engineered PKSs previously; however, most of the work to date has been accomplished with ATs that are either naturally promiscuous and/or located in terminal modules lacking downstream bottlenecks. These limitations have prevented the engineering of ATs with low native promiscuity and the study of any potential gatekeeping effects by domains downstream of an engineered AT. In an effort to address this gap in PKS engineering knowledge, the substrate preferences of the final two modules of the pikromycin PKS were compared for several non-natural extender units and through active site mutagenesis. This led to engineering of the methylmalonyl-CoA specificity of both modules and inversion of their selectivity to prefer consecutive non-natural derivatives. Analysis of the product distributions of these bimodular reactions revealed unexpected metabolites resulting from gatekeeping by the downstream ketoreductase and ketosynthase domains. Despite these new bottlenecks, AT engineering provided the first full-length polyketide products incorporating two non-natural extender units. Together, this combination of tandem AT engineering and the identification of previously poorly characterized bottlenecks provides a platform for future advancements in the field.
Project description:Megasynthases are large multienzyme proteins that produce a plethora of important natural compounds by catalyzing the successive condensation and modification of precursor units. Within the class of megasynthases, polyketide synthases (PKS) are responsible for the production of a large spectrum of bioactive polyketides (PK), which have frequently found their way into therapeutic applications. Rational engineering approaches have been performed during the last 25 years that seek to employ the "assembly-line synthetic concept" of megasynthases in order to deliver new bioactive compounds. Here, we highlight PKS engineering strategies in the light of the newly emerging structural information on megasynthases, and argue that fatty acid synthases (FAS) are and will be valuable objects for further developing this field.
Project description:Bacterial aromatic polyketides such as tetracycline and doxorubicin are a medicinally important class of natural products produced as secondary metabolites by actinomyces bacteria. Their backbones are derived from malonyl-CoA units by polyketide synthases (PKSs). The nascent polyketide chain is synthesized by the minimal PKS, a module consisting of four dissociated enzymes. Although the biosynthesis of most aromatic polyketide backbones is initiated through decarboxylation of a malonyl building block (which results in an acetate group), some polyketides, such as the estrogen receptor antagonist R1128, are derived from nonacetate primers. Understanding the mechanism of nonacetate priming can lead to biosynthesis of novel polyketides that have improved pharmacological properties. Recent biochemical analysis has shown that nonacetate priming is the result of stepwise activity of two dissociated PKS modules with orthogonal molecular recognition features. In these PKSs, an initiation module that synthesizes a starter unit is present in addition to the minimal PKS module. Here we describe a general method for the engineered biosynthesis of regioselectively modified aromatic polyketides. When coexpressed with the R1128 initiation module, the actinorhodin minimal PKS produced novel hexaketides with propionyl and isobutyryl primer units. Analogous octaketides could be synthesized by combining the tetracenomycin minimal PKS with the R1128 initiation module. Tailoring enzymes such as ketoreductases and cyclases were able to process the unnatural polyketides efficiently. Based upon these findings, hybrid PKSs were engineered to synthesize new anthraquinone antibiotics with predictable functional group modifications. Our results demonstrate that (i) bimodular aromatic PKSs present a general mechanism for priming aromatic polyketide backbones with nonacetate precursors; (ii) the minimal PKS controls polyketide chain length by counting the number of atoms incorporated into the backbone rather than the number of elongation cycles; and (iii) in contrast, auxiliary PKS enzymes such as ketoreductases, aromatases, and cyclases recognize specific functional groups in the backbone rather than overall chain length. Among the anthracyclines engineered in this study were compounds with (i) more superior activity than R1128 against the breast cancer cell line MCF-7 and (ii) inhibitory activity against glucose-6-phosphate translocase, an attractive target for the treatment of Type II diabetes.
Project description:Fungal polyketide synthases (PKSs) are large, multidomain enzymes that biosynthesize a wide range of natural products. A hallmark of these megasynthases is the iterative use of catalytic domains to extend and modify a series of enzyme-bound intermediates. A subset of these iterative PKSs (iPKSs) contains a C-methyltransferase (CMeT) domain that adds one or more S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)-derived methyl groups to the carbon framework. Neither the basis by which only specific positions on the growing intermediate are methylated ("programming") nor the mechanism of methylation are well understood. Domain dissection and reconstitution of PksCT, the fungal non-reducing PKS (NR-PKS) responsible for the first isolable intermediate in citrinin biosynthesis, demonstrates the role of CMeT-catalyzed methylation in precursor elongation and pentaketide formation. The crystal structure of the S-adenosyl-homocysteine (SAH) coproduct-bound PksCT CMeT domain reveals a two-subdomain organization with a novel N-terminal subdomain characteristic of PKS CMeT domains and provides insights into co-factor and ligand recognition.
Project description:Modular polyketide synthases (PKSs) of bacteria provide an enormous reservoir of natural chemical diversity. Studying natural biocombinatorics may aid in the development of concepts for experimental design of genes for the biosynthesis of new bioactive compounds. Here we address the question of how the modularity of biosynthetic enzymes and the prevalence of multiple gene clusters in Streptomyces drive the evolution of metabolic diversity. The phylogeny of ketosynthase (KS) domains of Streptomyces PKSs revealed that the majority of modules involved in the biosynthesis of a single compound evolved by duplication of a single ancestor module. Using Streptomyces avermitilis as a model organism, we have reconstructed the evolutionary relationships of different domain types. This analysis suggests that 65% of the modules were altered by recombinational replacements that occurred within and between biosynthetic gene clusters. The natural reprogramming of the biosynthetic pathways was unambiguously confined to domains that account for the structural diversity of the polyketide products and never observed for the KS domains. We provide examples for natural acyltransferase (AT), ketoreductase (KR), and dehydratase (DH)-KR domain replacements. Potential sites of homologous recombination could be identified in interdomain regions and within domains. Our results indicate that homologous recombination facilitated by the modularity of PKS architecture is the most important mechanism underlying polyketide diversity in bacteria.
Project description:In recent years, remarkable versatility of polyketide synthases (PKSs) has been recognized; both in terms of their structural and functional organization as well as their ability to produce compounds other than typical secondary metabolites. Multifunctional Type I PKSs catalyze the biosynthesis of polyketide products by either using the same active sites repetitively (iterative) or by using these catalytic domains only once (modular) during the entire biosynthetic process. The largest open reading frame in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, pks12, was recently proposed to be involved in the biosynthesis of mannosyl-beta-1-phosphomycoketide (MPM). The PKS12 protein contains two complete sets of modules and has been suggested to synthesize mycoketide by five alternating condensations of methylmalonyl and malonyl units by using an iterative mode of catalysis. The bimodular iterative catalysis would require transfer of intermediate chains from acyl carrier protein domain of module 2 to ketosynthase domain of module 1. Such bimodular iterations during PKS biosynthesis have not been characterized and appear unlikely based on recent understanding of the three-dimensional organization of these proteins. Moreover, all known examples of iterative PKSs so far characterized involve unimodular iterations. Based on cell-free reconstitution of PKS12 enzymatic machinery, in this study, we provide the first evidence for a novel "modularly iterative" mechanism of biosynthesis. By combination of biochemical, computational, mutagenic, analytical ultracentrifugation and atomic force microscopy studies, we propose that PKS12 protein is organized as a large supramolecular assembly mediated through specific interactions between the C- and N-terminus linkers. PKS12 protein thus forms a modular assembly to perform repetitive condensations analogous to iterative proteins. This novel intermolecular iterative biosynthetic mechanism provides new perspective to our understanding of polyketide biosynthetic machinery and also suggests new ways to engineer polyketide metabolites. The characterization of novel molecular mechanisms involved in biosynthesis of mycobacterial virulent lipids has opened new avenues for drug discovery.