Engineering of Chimeric Polyketide Synthases Using SYNZIP Docking Domains.
ABSTRACT: 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:Polyketide synthases (PKSs) are microbial multienzymes for the biosynthesis of biologically potent secondary metabolites. Polyketide production is initiated by the loading of a starter unit onto an integral acyl carrier protein (ACP) and its subsequent transfer to the ketosynthase (KS). Initial substrate loading is achieved either by multidomain loading modules or by the integration of designated loading domains, such as starter unit acyltransferases (SAT), whose structural integration into PKS remains unresolved. A crystal structure of the loading/condensing region of the nonreducing PKS CTB1 demonstrates the ordered insertion of a pseudodimeric SAT into the condensing region, which is aided by the SAT-KS linker. Cryo-electron microscopy of the post-loading state trapped by mechanism-based crosslinking of ACP to KS reveals asymmetry across the CTB1 loading/-condensing region, in accord with preferential 1:2 binding stoichiometry. These results are critical for re-engineering the loading step in polyketide biosynthesis and support functional relevance of asymmetric conformations of 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: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: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.
Project description:Modular polyketide synthases (type I PKSs) in bacteria are responsible for synthesizing a significant percentage of bioactive natural products. This group of synthases has a characteristic modular organization, and each module within a PKS carries out one cycle of polyketide chain elongation; thus each module is non-iterative in function. It was possible to predict the basic structure of a polyketide product from the module organization of the PKSs, since there generally existed a co-linearity between the number of modules and the number of chain elongations. However, more and more bacterial modular PKSs fail to conform to the canonical rules, and a particularly noteworthy group of non-canonical PKSs is the bacterial iterative type I PKSs. This review covers recent examples of iteratively used modular PKSs in bacteria. These non-canonical PKSs give rise to a large array of natural products with impressive structural diversity. The molecular mechanism behind the iterations is often unclear, presenting a new challenge to the rational engineering of these PKSs with the goal of generating new natural products. Structural elucidation of these synthase complexes and better understanding of potential PKS-PKS interactions as well as PKS-substrate recognition may provide new prospects and inspirations for the discovery and engineering of new bioactive polyketides.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Bacterial aromatic polyketides are a pharmacologically important group of natural products synthesized by type II polyketide synthases (type II PKSs) in actinobacteria. Isolation of novel aromatic polyketides from microbial sources is currently impeded because of the lack of knowledge about prolific taxa for polyketide synthesis and the difficulties in finding and optimizing target microorganisms. Comprehensive analysis of type II PKSs and the prediction of possible polyketide chemotypes in various actinobacterial genomes will thus enable the discovery or synthesis of novel polyketides in the most plausible microorganisms. DESCRIPTION: We performed a comprehensive computational analysis of type II PKSs and their gene clusters in actinobacterial genomes. By identifying type II PKS subclasses from the sequence analysis of 280 known type II PKSs, we developed highly accurate domain classifiers for these subclasses and derived prediction rules for aromatic polyketide chemotypes generated by different combinations of type II PKS domains. Using 319 available actinobacterial genomes, we predicted 231 type II PKSs from 40 PKS gene clusters in 25 actinobacterial genomes, and polyketide chemotypes corresponding to 22 novel PKS gene clusters in 16 genomes. These results showed that the microorganisms capable of producing aromatic polyketides are specifically distributed within a certain suborder of Actinomycetales such as Catenulisporineae, Frankineae, Micrococcineae, Micromonosporineae, Pseudonocardineae, Streptomycineae, and Streptosporangineae. CONCLUSIONS: We could identify the novel candidates of type II PKS gene clusters and their polyketide chemotypes in actinobacterial genomes by comprehensive analysis of type II PKSs and prediction of aromatic polyketides. The genome analysis results indicated that the specific suborders in actinomycetes could be used as prolific taxa for polyketide synthesis. The chemotype-prediction rules with the suggested type II PKS modules derived using this resource can be used further for microbial engineering to produce various aromatic polyketides. All these resources, together with the results of the analysis, are organized into an easy-to-use database PKMiner, which is accessible at the following URL: http://pks.kaist.ac.kr/pkminer. We believe that this web-based tool would be useful for research in the discovery of novel bacterial aromatic polyketides.
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:The termination step is an important source of structural diversity in polyketide biosynthesis. Most type I polyketide synthase (PKS) assembly lines are terminated by a thioesterase (TE) domain located at the C-terminus of the final module, while other PKS assembly lines lack a terminal TE domain and are instead terminated by a separate enzyme in trans. In cylindrocyclophane biosynthesis, the type I modular PKS assembly line is terminated by a freestanding type III PKS (CylI). Unexpectedly, the final module of the type I PKS (CylH) also possesses a C-terminal TE domain. Unlike typical type I PKSs, the CylH TE domain does not influence assembly line termination by CylI in vitro. Instead, this domain phylogenetically resembles a type II TE and possesses activity consistent with an editing function. This finding may shed light on the evolution of unusual PKS termination logic. In addition, the presence of related type II TE domains in many cryptic type I PKS and nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) assembly lines has implications for pathway annotation, product prediction, and engineering.
Project description:Polyketides produced by modular type I polyketide synthases (PKSs) play eminent roles in the development of medicines. Yet, the production of structural analogs by genetic engineering poses a major challenge. We report an evolution-guided morphing of modular PKSs inspired by recombination processes that lead to structural diversity in nature. By deletion and insertion of PKS modules we interconvert the assembly lines for related antibiotic and antifungal agents, aureothin (aur) and neoaureothin (nor) (aka spectinabilin), in both directions. Mutational and functional analyses of the polyketide-tailoring cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, and PKS phylogenies give contradictory clues on potential evolutionary scenarios (generalist-to-specialist enzyme evolution vs. most parsimonious ancestor). The KS-AT linker proves to be well suited as fusion site for both excision and insertion of modules, which supports a model for alternative module boundaries in some PKS systems. This study teaches important lessons on the evolution of PKSs, which may guide future engineering approaches.