Project description:Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are an emerging antimicrobial resistance threat for which few if any therapeutic options remain. Identification of new agents that either inhibit CRE or restore activity of existing antimicrobials is highly desirable. Therefore, a high-throughput screen of 182,427 commercially available compounds was used to identify small molecules which either enhanced activity of meropenem against a carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae ST258 screening strain and/or directly inhibited its growth. The primary screening methodology was a whole-cell screen/counterscreen combination assay that tested for reduction of microbial growth in the presence or absence of meropenem, respectively. Screening hits demonstrating eukaryotic cell toxicity based on an orthogonal screening effort or identified as pan-assay interference compounds (PAINS) by computational methods were triaged. Primary screening hits were then clustered and ranked according to favorable physicochemical properties. Among remaining hits, we found 10 compounds that enhanced activity of carbapenems against a subset of CRE. Direct antimicrobials that passed toxicity and PAINS filters were not, however, identified in this relatively large screening effort. It was previously shown that the same screening strategy was productive for identifying candidates for further development when screening known bioactive libraries inclusive of natural products. Our findings therefore further highlight liabilities of commercially available small-molecule screening libraries in the Gram-negative antimicrobial space. In particular, there was especially low yield in identifying compelling activity against a representative, highly multidrug-resistant, carbapenemase-producing K. pneumoniae strain.
Project description:Type-2 diabetes is mediated by defects in either insulin secretion or insulin action. In an effort to identify extracts that may stimulate glucose uptake, similar to insulin, a high throughput-screening assay for measuring glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells was established. During the screening studies to discover novel antidiabetic compounds from microbial resources a Streptomyces strain PM0324667 (MTCC 5543, the Strain accession number at Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh, India), an isolate from arid soil was identified which expressed a secondary metabolite that induced glucose uptake in L6 skeletal muscle cells. By employing bioactivity guided fractionation techniques, a tri-substituted simple aromatic compound with anti-diabetic potential was isolated. It was characterized based on MS and 2D NMR spectral data and identified as NFAT-133 which is a known immunosuppressive agent that inhibits NFAT-dependent transcription in vitro. Our investigations revealed the antidiabetic potential of NFAT-133. The compound induced glucose uptake in differentiated L6 myotubes with an EC50 of 6.3 ± 1.8 ?M without activating the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-?. Further, NFAT-133 was also efficacious in vivo in diabetic animals and reduced systemic glucose levels. Thus it is a potential lead compound which can be considered for development as a therapeutic for the treatment of type-2 diabetes. We have reported herewith the isolation of the producer microbe, fermentation, purification, in vitro, and in vivo antidiabetic activity of the compound.
Project description:The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) macrodomain within the nonstructural protein 3 counteracts host-mediated antiviral adenosine diphosphate-ribosylation signaling. This enzyme is a promising antiviral target because catalytic mutations render viruses nonpathogenic. Here, we report a massive crystallographic screening and computational docking effort, identifying new chemical matter primarily targeting the active site of the macrodomain. Crystallographic screening of 2533 diverse fragments resulted in 214 unique macrodomain-binders. An additional 60 molecules were selected from docking more than 20 million fragments, of which 20 were crystallographically confirmed. X-ray data collection to ultra-high resolution and at physiological temperature enabled assessment of the conformational heterogeneity around the active site. Several fragment hits were confirmed by solution binding using three biophysical techniques (differential scanning fluorimetry, homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence, and isothermal titration calorimetry). The 234 fragment structures explore a wide range of chemotypes and provide starting points for development of potent SARS-CoV-2 macrodomain inhibitors.
Project description:The SARS-CoV-2 macrodomain (Mac1) within the non-structural protein 3 (Nsp3) counteracts host-mediated antiviral ADP-ribosylation signalling. This enzyme is a promising antiviral target because catalytic mutations render viruses non-pathogenic. Here, we report a massive crystallographic screening and computational docking effort, identifying new chemical matter primarily targeting the active site of the macrodomain. Crystallographic screening of diverse fragment libraries resulted in 214 unique macrodomain-binding fragments, out of 2,683 screened. An additional 60 molecules were selected from docking over 20 million fragments, of which 20 were crystallographically confirmed. X-ray data collection to ultra-high resolution and at physiological temperature enabled assessment of the conformational heterogeneity around the active site. Several crystallographic and docking fragment hits were validated for solution binding using three biophysical techniques (DSF, HTRF, ITC). Overall, the 234 fragment structures presented explore a wide range of chemotypes and provide starting points for development of potent SARS-CoV-2 macrodomain inhibitors.
Project description:The Baltic Sea is one of the world's largest brackish water bodies and is characterised by pronounced physicochemical gradients where microbes are the main biogeochemical catalysts. Meta-omic methods provide rich information on the composition of, and activities within, microbial ecosystems, but are computationally heavy to perform. We here present the Baltic Sea Reference Metagenome (BARM), complete with annotated genes to facilitate further studies with much less computational effort. The assembly is constructed using 2.6 billion metagenomic reads from 81 water samples, spanning both spatial and temporal dimensions, and contains 6.8 million genes that have been annotated for function and taxonomy. The assembly is useful as a reference, facilitating taxonomic and functional annotation of additional samples by simply mapping their reads against the assembly. This capability is demonstrated by the successful mapping and annotation of 24 external samples. In addition, we present a public web interface, BalticMicrobeDB, for interactive exploratory analysis of the dataset.
Project description:Sequence-based screening has been widely applied in the discovery of novel microbial enzymes. However, majority of the sequences in the genomic databases were annotated using computational approaches and lacks experimental characterization. Hence, the success in obtaining the functional biocatalysts with improved characteristics requires an efficient screening method that considers a wide array of factors. Recombinant expression of microbial enzymes is often hampered by the undesirable formation of inclusion body. Here, we present a systematic in silico screening method to identify the proteins expressible in soluble form and with the desired biological properties. The screening approach was adopted in the recombinant expression of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) monooxygenase in Escherichia coli. DMS monooxygenase, a two-component enzyme consisting of DmoA and DmoB subunits, was used as a model protein. The success rate of producing soluble and active DmoA is 71% (5 out of 7 genes). Interestingly, the soluble recombinant DmoA enzymes exhibited the NADH:FMN oxidoreductase activity in the absence of DmoB (second subunit), and the cofactor FMN, suggesting that DmoA is also an oxidoreductase. DmoA originated from Janthinobacterium sp. AD80 showed the maximum NADH oxidation activity (maximum reaction rate: 6.6 µM/min; specific activity: 133 µM/min/mg). This novel finding may allow DmoA to be used as an oxidoreductase biocatalyst for various industrial applications. The in silico gene screening methodology established from this study can increase the success rate of producing soluble and functional enzymes while avoiding the laborious trial and error involved in the screening of a large pool of genes available. KEY POINTS: • A systematic gene screening method was demonstrated. • DmoA is also an oxidoreductase capable of oxidizing NADH and reducing FMN. • DmoA oxidizes NADH in the absence of external FMN.
Project description:Increasing the success rate and throughput of drug discovery will require efficiency improvements throughout the process that is currently used in the pharmaceutical community, including the crucial step of identifying hit compounds to act as drivers for subsequent optimization. Hit identification can be carried out through large compound collection screening and often involves the generation and testing of many hypotheses based on available knowledge. In practice, hypothesis generation can involve the selection of promising chemical structures from compound collections using predictive models built from previous screening/assay results. Available physical collections, typically used during hit identification, are of the order of 106 compounds but represent only a small fraction of the small molecule drug-like chemical space. In an effort to survey a larger portion of chemical space and eliminate inefficiencies during hit identification, we introduce a new process, termed Idea2Data (I2D) that tightly integrates computational and experimental components of the drug discovery process. I2D provides the ability to connect a vast virtual collection of compounds readily synthesizable on automated synthesis systems with computational predictive models for the identification of promising structures. This new paradigm enables researchers to process billions of virtual molecules and select structures that can be prepared on automated systems and made available for biological testing, allowing for timely hypothesis testing and follow-up. Since its introduction, I2D has positively impacted several portfolio efforts through identification of new chemical scaffolds and functionalization of existing scaffolds. In this Innovations paper, we describe the I2D process and present an application for the discovery of new ULK inhibitors.
Project description:Quorum sensing (QS) systems communicate bacterial population and stimulate microbial pathogenesis through signaling molecules. Inhibition of QS signals potentially suppresses microbial infections. Antimicrobial properties of Streptomyces have been extensively studied, however, less is known about quorum sensing inhibitory (QSI) activities of Streptomyces. This study explored the QSI potential of Streptomyces isolated from soil. Sixty-five bacterial isolates were purified from soil samples with morphological characteristics of Streptomyces. The three isolates: S6, S12, and S17, exhibited QSI effect by screening with the reporter, Chromobacterium violaceum. Isolate S17 was identified as Streptomyces coelicoflavus by sequencing of the hypervariable regions (V1-V6) of 16S rRNA and was assigned gene bank number KJ855087. The QSI effect of the cell-free supernatant of isolate S17 was not abolished by proteinase K indicating the non-enzymatic activity of QSI components of S17. Three major compounds were isolated and identified, using spectroscopic techniques (1D, 2D NMR, and Mass spectrometry), as behenic acid (docosanoic acid), borrelidin, and 1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylic acid. 1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylic acid inhibited QS and related virulence factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 including; elastase, protease, and pyocyanin without affecting Pseudomonas viability. At the molecular level, 1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylic acid suppressed the expression of QS genes (lasI, lasR, lasA, lasB, rhlI, rhlR, pqsA, and pqsR). Moreover, QSI activity of S17 was assessed under different growth conditions and ISP2 medium supplemented with glucose 0.4% w/v and adjusted at pH 7, showed the highest QSI action. In conclusion, 1H-pyrrole-2-carboxylic acid, one of the major metabolites of Streptomyces isolate S17, inhibited QS and virulence determinants of P. aeruginosa PAO1. The findings of the study open the scope to exploit the in vivo efficacy of this active molecule as anti-pathogenic and anti-virulence of P. aeruginosa.
Project description:Genetic regulatory proteins inducible by small molecules are useful synthetic biology tools as sensors and switches. A major class of regulatory proteins is microbial allosteric transcription factors (aTFs), but aTF–inducer pairs are currently limited by those that naturally occur. Altering inducer specificity in these proteins is difficult because mutations that affect inducer binding may also disrupt allostery. Here, we engineer an aTF, LacI, to respond to one of four new inducer molecules: fucose, gentiobiose, lactitol or sucralose. We employ computational protein design, single-residue saturation mutagenesis, or random mutagenesis, along with multiplex assembly, and identify initial hits via a two-stage enrichment screen. Following activity maturation, we identify LacI variants with specificity to and induction by these new inducers comparable to that of wild-type LacI and its inducer, IPTG. The ability to create designer aTFs will enable applications including dynamic control of cell metabolism, cell biology and synthetic gene circuits. Overall design: Identification of E. coli LacI protein variants depleted after negative selection by next-generation sequencing.
Project description:As part of our screening program for the discovery of molecules of microbial origin with skin-whitening activity, 142 diverse fungal endophytes from a wide variety of Andalusia arid plants were screened, applying the OSMAC approach. The fungal strains CF-090361 and CF-090766, isolated from xerophytic plants, were selected as the most promising, while phylogenetic analysis revealed that both strains could represent a new species within the genus Comoclathris. The effect of different fermentation conditions on the production of tyrosinase inhibitory activity was examined, in order to identify the optimum cultivation conditions. LCMS based metabolomics was applied to determine significant differences between the strains and fermentation conditions, and to identify potential bioactive secondary metabolites. Bioassay-guided purification of the main active components led to the isolation of three new compounds (1–3), along with the known compounds graphostrin B (4) and brevianamide M (5). Compound 1 (Comoclathrin) demonstrated the strongest anti-tyrosinase activity (IC50 0.16 μΜ), which was 90-times higher than kojic acid (IC50 14.07 μΜ) used as positive control. Additionally, comoclathrin showed no significant cytotoxicity against a panel of cancer cell lines (HepG2, A2058, A549, MCF-7 and MIA PaCa-2) and normal BJ fibroblasts. These properties render comoclathrin an excellent development candidate as whitening agent.