April 21, 2020  |  

Identification and characterisation of anti – Pseudomonas aeruginosa proteins in mucus of the brown garden snail, Cornu aspersum.

Background: Novel antimicrobial treatments are urgently needed. Previous work has shown that the mucus of the brown garden snail (Cornu aspersum) has antimicrobial properties, in particular against type culture collection strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We hypothesised that it would also be effective against clinical isolates of the bacterium and that investigation of fractions of the mucus would identify one or more proteins with anti-pseudomonal properties, which could be further characterised. Materials and methods: Mucus was extracted from snails collected from the wild. Antimicrobial activity against laboratory and clinical isolates of Ps. aeruginosa was determined in disc diffusion assays. Mucus was purified using size exclusion chromatography and fractions containing anti-pseudomonal activity identified. Mass spectroscopy and high performance liquid chromatography analysis of these fractions yielded partial peptide sequences. These were used to interrogate an RNA transcriptome generated from whole snails. Results: Mucus from C. aspersum inhibited growth of type collection strains and clinical isolates of Ps. aeruginosa. Four novel C. aspersum proteins were identified; at least three are likely to have antimicrobial properties. The most interesting is a 37.4 kDa protein whilst smaller proteins, one 17.5 kDa and one 18.6 kDa also appear to have activity against Ps. aeruginosa.Conclusions: The study has identified novel proteins with antimicrobial properties which could be used to develop treatments for use in human medicine.

September 22, 2019  |  

Amycomicin is a potent and specific antibiotic discovered with a targeted interaction screen.

The rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria has accelerated the search for new antibiotics. Many clinically used antibacterials were discovered through culturing a single microbial species under nutrient-rich conditions, but in the environment, bacteria constantly encounter poor nutrient conditions and interact with neighboring microbial species. In an effort to recapitulate this environment, we generated a nine-strain actinomycete community and used 16S rDNA sequencing to deconvolute the stochastic production of antimicrobial activity that was not observed from any of the axenic cultures. We subsequently simplified the community to just two strains and identified Amycolatopsis sp. AA4 as the producing strain and Streptomyces coelicolor M145 as an inducing strain. Bioassay-guided isolation identified amycomicin (AMY), a highly modified fatty acid containing an epoxide isonitrile warhead as a potent and specific inhibitor of Staphylococcus aureus Amycomicin targets an essential enzyme (FabH) in fatty acid biosynthesis and reduces S. aureus infection in a mouse skin-infection model. The discovery of AMY demonstrates the utility of screening complex communities against specific targets to discover small-molecule antibiotics.

September 22, 2019  |  

2,3-Butanediol production by the non-pathogenic bacterium Paenibacillus brasilensis.

2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BDO) is of considerable importance in the chemical, plastic, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries. The main bacterial species producing this compound are considered pathogenic, hindering large-scale productivity. The species Paenibacillus brasilensis is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and is phylogenetically similar to P. polymyxa, a species widely used for 2,3-BDO production. Here, we demonstrate, for the first time, that P. brasilensis strains produce 2,3-BDO. Total 2,3-BDO concentrations for 15 P. brasilensis strains varied from 5.5 to 7.6 g/l after 8 h incubation at 32 °C in modified YEPD medium containing 20 g/l glucose. Strain PB24 produced 8.2 g/l of 2,3-BDO within a 12-h growth period, representing a yield of 0.43 g/g and a productivity of 0.68 g/l/h. An increase in 2,3-BDO production by strain PB24 was observed using higher concentrations of glucose, reaching 27 g/l of total 2,3-BDO in YEPD containing about 80 g/l glucose within a 72-h growth period. We sequenced the genome of P. brasilensis PB24 and uncovered at least six genes related to the 2,3-BDO pathway at four distinct loci. We also compared gene sequences related to the 2,3-BDO pathway in P. brasilensis PB24 with those of other spore-forming bacteria, and found strong similarity to P. polymyxa, P. terrae, and P. peoriae 2,3-BDO-related genes. Regulatory regions upstream of these genes indicated that they are probably co-regulated. Finally, we propose a production pathway from glucose to 2,3-BDO in P. brasilensis PB24. Although the gene encoding S-2,3-butanediol dehydrogenase (butA) was found in the genome of P. brasilensis PB24, only R,R-2,3- and meso-2,3-butanediol were detected by gas chromatography under the growth conditions tested here. Our findings can serve as a basis for further improvements to the metabolic capabilities of this little-studied Paenibacillus species in relation to production of the high-value chemical 2,3-butanediol.

July 19, 2019  |  

Recently published Streptomyces genome sequences.

Many readers of this journal will need no introduction to the bacterial genus Streptomyces, which includes several hundred species, many of which produce biotechnologically useful secondary metabolites. The last 2 years have seen numerous publications describing Streptomyces genome sequences (Table?1), mostly as short genome announcements restricted to just 500 words and therefore allowing little description and analysis. Our aim in this current manuscript is to survey these recent publications and to dig a little deeper where appropriate. The genus Streptomyces is now one of the most highly sequenced, with 19 finished genomic sequences (Table?2) and a further 125 draft assemblies available in the GenBank database as of 3rd of May 2014; by the time this is published, no doubt there will be more. The reasons given for sequencing this latest crop of Streptomyces include production of industrially important enzymes, degradation of lignin, antibiotic production, rapid growth and halo-tolerance and an endophytic lifestyle (Table?1).

July 19, 2019  |  

Biosynthesis of the novel macrolide antibiotic anthracimycin.

We report the identification of the biosynthetic gene cluster for the unusual antibiotic anthracimycin (atc) from the marine derived producer strain Streptomyces sp. T676 isolated off St. John’s Island, Singapore. The 53?253 bps atc locus includes a trans-acyltransferase (trans-AT) polyketide synthase (PKS), and heterologous expression in Streptomyces coelicolor resulted in anthracimycin production. Analysis of the atc cluster revealed that anthracimycin is likely generated by four PKS gene products AtcC-AtcF without involvement of post-PKS tailoring enzymes, and a biosynthetic pathway is proposed. The availability of the atc cluster provides a basis for investigating the biosynthesis of anthracimycin and its subsequent bioengineering to provide novel analogues with improved pharmacological properties.

July 19, 2019  |  

Discovery and biosynthesis of gladiolin: A Burkholderia gladioli antibiotic with promising activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

An antimicrobial activity screen of Burkholderia gladioli BCC0238, a clinical isolate from a cystic fibrosis patient, led to the discovery of gladiolin, a novel macrolide antibiotic with potent activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv. Gladiolin is structurally related to etnangien, a highly unstable antibiotic from Sorangium cellulosum that is also active against Mycobacteria. Like etnangien, gladiolin was found to inhibit RNA polymerase, a validated drug target in M. tuberculosis. However, gladiolin lacks the highly labile hexaene moiety of etnangien and was thus found to possess significantly increased chemical stability. Moreover, gladiolin displayed low mammalian cytotoxicity and good activity against several M. tuberculosis clinical isolates, including four that are resistant to isoniazid and one that is resistant to both isoniazid and rifampicin. Overall, these data suggest that gladiolin may represent a useful starting point for the development of novel drugs to tackle multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. The B. gladioli BCC0238 genome was sequenced using Single Molecule Real Time (SMRT) technology. This resulted in four contiguous sequences: two large circular chromosomes and two smaller putative plasmids. Analysis of the chromosome sequences identified 49 putative specialized metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters. One such gene cluster, located on the smaller of the two chromosomes, encodes a trans-acyltransferase (trans-AT) polyketide synthase (PKS) multienzyme that was hypothesized to assemble gladiolin. Insertional inactivation of a gene in this cluster encoding one of the PKS subunits abrogated gladiolin production, confirming that the gene cluster is responsible for biosynthesis of the antibiotic. Comparison of the PKSs responsible for the assembly of gladiolin and etnangien showed that they possess a remarkably similar architecture, obfuscating the biosynthetic mechanisms responsible for most of the structural differences between the two metabolites.

July 7, 2019  |  

Analysis of a draft genome sequence of Kitasatospora cheerisanensis KCTC 2395 producing bafilomycin antibiotics.

Kitasatospora cheerisanensis KCTC 2395, producing bafilomycin antibiotics belonging to plecomacrolide group, was isolated from a soil sample at Mt. Jiri, Korea. The draft genome sequence contains 8.04 Mb with 73.6% G+C content and 7,810 open reading frames. All the genes for aerial mycelium and spore formations were confirmed in this draft genome. In phylogenetic analysis of MurE proteins (UDP-N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanyl-D-glutamate:DAP ligase) in a conserved dcw (division of cell wall) locus, MurE proteins of Kitasatospora species were placed in a separate clade between MurEs of Streptomyces species incorporating LL-diaminopimelic acid (DAP) and MurEs of Saccharopolyspora erythraea as well as Mycobacterium tuberculosis ligating meso-DAP. From this finding, it was assumed that Kitasatospora MurEs exhibit the substrate specificity for both LL-DAP and meso-DAP. The bafilomycin biosynthetic gene cluster was located in the left subtelomeric region. In 71.3 kb-long gene cluster, 17 genes probably involved in the biosynthesis of bafilomycin derivatives were deduced, including 5 polyketide synthase (PKS) genes comprised of 12 PKS modules.

July 7, 2019  |  

Active site and laminarin binding in glycoside hydrolase family 55.

The Carbohydrate Active Enzyme (CAZy) database indicates that glycoside hydrolase family 55 (GH55) contains both endo- and exo-ß-1,3-glucanases. The founding structure in the GH55 is PcLam55A from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium (Ishida, T., Fushinobu, S., Kawai, R., Kitaoka, M., Igarashi, K., and Samejima, M. (2009) Crystal structure of glycoside hydrolase family 55 ß-1,3-glucanase from the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium. J. Biol. Chem. 284, 10100-10109). Here, we present high resolution crystal structures of bacterial SacteLam55A from the highly cellulolytic Streptomyces sp. SirexAA-E with bound substrates and product. These structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, implicate Glu-502 as the catalytic acid (as proposed earlier for Glu-663 in PcLam55A) and a proton relay network of four residues in activating water as the nucleophile. Further, a set of conserved aromatic residues that define the active site apparently enforce an exo-glucanase reactivity as demonstrated by exhaustive hydrolysis reactions with purified laminarioligosaccharides. Two additional aromatic residues that line the substrate-binding channel show substrate-dependent conformational flexibility that may promote processive reactivity of the bound oligosaccharide in the bacterial enzymes. Gene synthesis carried out on ~30% of the GH55 family gave 34 active enzymes (19% functional coverage of the nonredundant members of GH55). These active enzymes reacted with only laminarin from a panel of 10 different soluble and insoluble polysaccharides and displayed a broad range of specific activities and optima for pH and temperature. Application of this experimental method provides a new, systematic way to annotate glycoside hydrolase phylogenetic space for functional properties.© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genome sequence of Streptacidiphilus oryzae TH49T, an acidophilic actinobacterium isolated from soil.

The draft genome sequence of Streptacidiphilus oryzae strain TH49(T), an acidophilic actinobacterium, was obtained. The draft is composed of six scaffolds totaling 7.8 Mbp, and it contains 6,829 protein-coding genes and 91 RNA genes. Genes related to respiratory nitrate reduction, siderophore production, and biosynthesis of other secondary metabolites were identified. Copyright © 2015 Kim et al.

July 7, 2019  |  

Discovery of microbial natural products by activation of silent biosynthetic gene clusters.

Microorganisms produce a wealth of structurally diverse specialized metabolites with a remarkable range of biological activities and a wide variety of applications in medicine and agriculture, such as the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer, and the prevention of crop damage. Genomics has revealed that many microorganisms have far greater potential to produce specialized metabolites than was thought from classic bioactivity screens; however, realizing this potential has been hampered by the fact that many specialized metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) are not expressed in laboratory cultures. In this Review, we discuss the strategies that have been developed in bacteria and fungi to identify and induce the expression of such silent BGCs, and we briefly summarize methods for the isolation and structural characterization of their metabolic products.

July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genome sequence of Streptomyces sp. strain Wb2n-11, a desert isolate with broad-spectrum antagonism against soilborne phytopathogens.

Streptomyces sp. strain Wb2n-11, isolated from native desert soil, exhibited broad-spectrum antagonism against plant pathogenic fungi, bacteria, and nematodes. The 8.2-Mb draft genome reveals genes putatively responsible for its promising biocontrol activity and genes which enable the soil bacterium to directly interact beneficially with plants. Copyright © 2015 Köberl et al.

July 7, 2019  |  

Identification and structural characterization of naturally-occurring broad-spectrum cyclic antibiotics isolated from Paenibacillus.

The rise of antimicrobial resistance necessitates the discovery and/or production of novel antibiotics. Isolated strains of Paenibacillus alvei were previously shown to exhibit antimicrobial activity against a number of pathogens, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The responsible antimicrobial compounds were isolated from these Paenibacillus strains and a combination of low and high resolution mass spectrometry with multiple-stage tandem mass spectrometry was used for identification. A group of closely related cyclic lipopeptides was identified, differing primarily by fatty acid chain length and one of two possible amino acid substitutions. Variation in the fatty acid length resulted in mass differences of 14 Da and yielded groups of related MS(n) spectra. Despite the inherent complexity of MS/MS spectra of cyclic compounds, straightforward analysis of these spectra was accomplished by determining differences in complementary product ion series between compounds that differ in molecular weight by 14 Da. The primary peptide sequence assignment was confirmed through genome mining; the combination of these analytical tools represents a workflow that can be used for the identification of complex antibiotics. The compounds also share amino acid sequence similarity to a previously identified broad-spectrum antibiotic isolated from Paenibacillus. The presence of such a wide distribution of related compounds produced by the same organism represents a novel class of broad-spectrum antibiotic compounds.

July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genome sequence of Paenibacillus polymyxa strain Mc5Re-14, an antagonistic root endophyte of Matricaria chamomilla.

Paenibacillus polymyxa strain Mc5Re-14 was isolated from the inner root tissue of Matricaria chamomilla (German chamomile). Mc5Re-14 revealed promising in vitro antagonistic activity against plant and opportunistic human pathogens. The 6.0-Mb draft genome reveals genes putatively involved in pathogen suppression and direct and indirect plant growth promotion. Copyright © 2015 Köberl et al.

July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Streptomyces ambofaciens ATCC 23877, the spiramycin producer.

Streptomyces ambofaciens ATCC23877 is a soil bacterium industrially exploited for the production of the macrolide spiramycin which is used in human medicine as an antibacterial and anti-toxoplasmosis chemical. Its genome consists of a 8.3Mbp linear chromosome and a 89kb circular plasmid. The complete genome sequence reported here will enable us to investigate Streptomyces genome evolution and to discover new secondary metabolites with potential applications notably in human medicine. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.