September 22, 2019  |  

Identification of a biosynthetic gene cluster for the polyene macrolactam sceliphrolactam in a Streptomyces strain isolated from mangrove sediment.

Streptomyces are a genus of Actinobacteria capable of producing structurally diverse natural products. Here we report the isolation and characterization of a biosynthetically talented Streptomyces (Streptomyces sp. SD85) from tropical mangrove sediments. Whole-genome sequencing revealed that Streptomyces sp. SD85 harbors at least 52 biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), which constitute 21.2% of the 8.6-Mb genome. When cultivated under lab conditions, Streptomyces sp. SD85 produces sceliphrolactam, a 26-membered polyene macrolactam with unknown biosynthetic origin. Genome mining yielded a putative sceliphrolactam BGC (sce) that encodes a type I modular polyketide synthase (PKS) system, several ß-amino acid starter biosynthetic enzymes, transporters, and transcriptional regulators. Using the CRISPR/Cas9-based gene knockout method, we demonstrated that the sce BGC is essential for sceliphrolactam biosynthesis. Unexpectedly, the PKS system encoded by sce is short of one module required for assembling the 26-membered macrolactam skeleton according to the collinearity rule. With experimental data disfavoring the involvement of a trans-PKS module, the biosynthesis of sceliphrolactam seems to be best rationalized by invoking a mechanism whereby the PKS system employs an iterative module to catalyze two successive chain extensions with different outcomes. The potential violation of the collinearity rule makes the mechanism distinct from those of other polyene macrolactams.


September 22, 2019  |  

Identification of the streptothricin and tunicamycin biosynthetic gene clusters by genome mining in Streptomyces sp. strain fd1-xmd.

The genus Streptomyces have been highly regarded for their important source of natural products. Combined with the technology of genome sequencing and mining, we could identify the active ingredients from fermentation broth quickly. Here, we report on Streptomyces sp. strain fd1-xmd, which was isolated from a soil sample collected in Shanghai. Interestingly, the fermentation broth derived from this strain demonstrated broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and eukaryotes. To identify the antimicrobial substances and their biosynthetic gene clusters, we sequenced the fd1-xmd strain and obtained a genome 7,929,999 bp in length. The average GC content of the chromosome was 72.5 mol%. Knockout experiments demonstrated that out of eight biosynthetic gene clusters we could identify, two are responsible for the biosynthesis of the antibiotics streptothricin (ST) and tunicamycin (TM). The ST biosynthetic gene cluster from fd1-xmd was verified via successful heterologous expression in Streptomyces coelicolor M1146. ST production had a yield of up to 0.5 g/L after the optimization of culture conditions. This study describes a novel producer of ST and TM and outlines the complete process undertaken for Streptomyces sp. strain fd1-xmd genome mining.


September 22, 2019  |  

In silico exploration of Red Sea Bacillus genomes for natural product biosynthetic gene clusters.

The increasing spectrum of multidrug-resistant bacteria is a major global public health concern, necessitating discovery of novel antimicrobial agents. Here, members of the genus Bacillus are investigated as a potentially attractive source of novel antibiotics due to their broad spectrum of antimicrobial activities. We specifically focus on a computational analysis of the distinctive biosynthetic potential of Bacillus paralicheniformis strains isolated from the Red Sea, an ecosystem exposed to adverse, highly saline and hot conditions.We report the complete circular and annotated genomes of two Red Sea strains, B. paralicheniformis Bac48 isolated from mangrove mud and B. paralicheniformis Bac84 isolated from microbial mat collected from Rabigh Harbor Lagoon in Saudi Arabia. Comparing the genomes of B. paralicheniformis Bac48 and B. paralicheniformis Bac84 with nine publicly available complete genomes of B. licheniformis and three genomes of B. paralicheniformis, revealed that all of the B. paralicheniformis strains in this study are more enriched in nonribosomal peptides (NRPs). We further report the first computationally identified trans-acyltransferase (trans-AT) nonribosomal peptide synthetase/polyketide synthase (PKS/ NRPS) cluster in strains of this species.B. paralicheniformis species have more genes associated with biosynthesis of antimicrobial bioactive compounds than other previously characterized species of B. licheniformis, which suggests that these species are better potential sources for novel antibiotics. Moreover, the genome of the Red Sea strain B. paralicheniformis Bac48 is more enriched in modular PKS genes compared to B. licheniformis strains and other B. paralicheniformis strains. This may be linked to adaptations that strains surviving in the Red Sea underwent to survive in the relatively hot and saline ecosystems.


September 22, 2019  |  

The FBT1 large serine recombinase catalyzes DNA integration at pseudo-attB sites in the genus Nocardia.

Plasmid vectors based on bacteriophage integrases are important tools in molecular microbiology for the introduction of foreign DNA, especially into bacterial species where other systems for genetic manipulation are limited. Site specific integrases catalyze recombination between phage and bacterial attachment sites (attP and attB, respectively) and the best studied integrases in the actinomycetes are the serine integrases from the Streptomyces bacteriophages FC31 and FBT1. As this reaction is unidirectional and highly stable, vectors containing phage integrase systems have been used in a number of genetic engineering applications. Plasmids bearing the FBT1 integrase have been used to introduce DNA into Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis strains; however, they have not been widely studied in other actinobacterial genera. Here, we show that vectors based on FBT1 integrase can stably integrate into the chromosomes of a range of Nocardia species, and that this integration occurs despite the absence of canonical attB sites in these genomes. Furthermore, we show that a FBT1 integrase-based vector can insert at multiple pseudo-attB sites within a single strain and we determine the sequence of a pseudo-attB motif. These data suggest that FBT1 integrase-based vectors can be used to readily and semi-randomly introduce foreign DNA into the genomes of a range of Nocardia species. However, the precise site of insertion will likely require empirical determination in each species to avoid unexpected off-target effects.


September 22, 2019  |  

Isolation and characterization of Bacillus sp. GFP-2, a novel Bacillus strain with antimicrobial activities, from Whitespotted bamboo shark intestine.

The abuse of antibiotics and following rapidly increasing of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is the serious threat to our society. Natural products from microorganism are regarded as the important substitution antimicrobial agents of antibiotics. We isolated a new strain, Bacillus sp. GFP-2, from the Chiloscyllium plagiosum (Whitespotted bamboo shark) intestine, which showed great inhibitory effects on the growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Additionally, the growth of salmon was effectively promoted when fed with inactivated strain GFP-2 as the inhibition agent of pathogenic bacteria. The genes encoding antimicrobial peptides like LCI, YFGAP and hGAPDH and gene clusters for secondary metabolites and bacteriocins, such as difficidin, bacillibactin, bacilysin, surfactin, butirosin, macrolactin, bacillaene, fengycin, lanthipeptides and LCI, were predicted in the genome of Bacillus sp. GFP-2, which might be expressed and contribute to the antimicrobial activities of this strain. The gene encoding ß-1,3-1,4-glucanase was successfully cloned from the genome and this protein was detected in the culture supernatant of Bacillus sp. GFP-2 by the antibody produced in rabbit immunized with the recombinant ß-1,3-1,4-glucanase, indicating that this strain could express ß-1,3-1,4-glucanase, which might partially contribute to its antimicrobial activities. This study can enhance a better understanding of the mechanism of antimicrobial activities in genus Bacillus and provide a useful material for the biotechnology study in antimicrobial agent development.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome sequencing of Streptomyces atratus SCSIOZH16 and activation production of nocardamine via metabolic engineering.

The Actinomycetes are metabolically flexible microorganisms capable of producing a wide range of interesting compounds, including but by no means limited to, siderophores which have high affinity for ferric iron. In this study, we report the complete genome sequence of marine-derived Streptomyces atratus ZH16 and the activation of an embedded siderophore gene cluster via the application of metabolic engineering methods. The S. atratus ZH16 genome reveals that this strain has the potential to produce 26 categories of natural products (NPs) barring the ilamycins. Our activation studies revealed S. atratus SCSIO ZH16 to be a promising source of the production of nocardamine-type (desferrioxamine) compounds which are important in treating acute iron intoxication and performing ecological remediation. We conclude that metabolic engineering provides a highly effective strategy by which to discover drug-like compounds and new NPs in the genomic era.


September 22, 2019  |  

Co-culture of soil biofilm isolates enables the discovery of novel antibiotics

Bacterial natural products (NPs) are considered to be a promising source of drug discovery. However, the biosynthesis gene clusters (BGCs) of NP are not often expressed, making it difficult to identify them. Recently, the study of biofilm community showed bacteria may gain competitive advantages by the secretion of antibiotics, implying a possible way to screen antibiotic by evaluating the social behavior of bacteria. In this study, we have described an efficient workflow for novel antibiotic discovery by employing the bacterial social interaction strategy with biofilm cultivation, co-culture, transcriptomic and genomic methods. We showed that a biofilm dominant species, i.e. Pseudomonas sp. G7, which was isolated from cultivated soil biofilm community, was highly competitive in four-species biofilm communities, as the synergistic combinations preferred to exclude this strain while the antagonistic combinations did not. Through the analysis of transcriptomic changes in four-species co-culture and the complete genome of Pseudomonas sp. G7, we finally discovered two novel non-ribosomal polypeptide synthetic (NRPS) BGCs, whose products were predicted to have seven and six amino acid components, respectively. Furthermore, we provide evidence showing that only when Pseudomonas sp. G7 was co-cultivated with at least two or three other bacterial species can these BGC genes be induced, suggesting that the co-culture of the soil biofilm isolates is critical to the discovery of novel antibiotics. As a conclusion, we set a model of applying microbial interaction to the discovery of new antibiotics.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of Pseudomonas sp. strain SI-3 associated with macroalga Ulva prolifera, the causative species for green tide in the Yellow Sea.

Algae-bacteria associations occurred widely in marine habitats, however, contributions of bacteria to macroalgal blooming were almost unknown. In this study, a potential endophytic strain SI-3 was isolated from Ulva prolifera, the causative species for the world’s largest green tide in the Yellow Sea, following a strict bleaching treatment to eliminate epiphytes. The genomic sequence of SI-3 was determined in size of 4.8 Mb and SI-3 was found to be mostly closed to Pseudomonas stutzeri. To evaluate the characteristics of SI-3 as a potential endophyte, the genomes of SI-3 and other 20 P. stutzeri strains were compared. We found that SI-3 had more strain-specific genes than most of the 20 P. stutzeri strains. Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) analysis revealed that SI-3 had a higher proportion of genes assigned to transcriptional regulation and signal transduction compared with the 20 P. stutzeri strains, including four rhizosphere bacteria, indicating a complicated interaction network between SI-3 and its host. P. stutzeri is renowned for its metabolic versatility in aromatic compounds degradation. However, significant gene loss was observed in several aromatic compounds degradation pathways in SI-3, which may be an evolutional adaptation that developed upon association with its host. KEGG analysis revealed that dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) and denitrification, two competing dissimilatory nitrate reduction pathways, co-occurred in the genome of SI-3, like most of the other 20 P. stutzeri strains. We speculated that DNRA of SI-3 may contribute a competitive advantage in nitrogen acquisition of U. prolifera by conserving nitrogen in NH4+ form, as in the case of microalgae bloom. Collectively, these data suggest that Pseudomonas sp. strain SI-3 was a suitable candidate for investigation of the algae-bacteria interaction with U. prolifera and the ecological impacts on algal blooming.


September 22, 2019  |  

Reprogramming of the antimycin NRPS-PKS assembly lines inspired by gene evolution.

Reprogramming of the NRPS/PKS assembly line is an attractive method for the production of new bioactive molecules. However, it is usually hampered by the loss of intimate domain/module interactions required for the precise control of chain transfer and elongation reactions. In this study, we first establish heterologous expression systems of the unique antimycin-type cyclic depsipeptides: JBIR-06 (tri-lactone) and neoantimycin (tetra-lactone), and engineer their biosyntheses by taking advantage of bioinformatic analyses and evolutionary insights. As a result, we successfully accomplish three manipulations: (i) ring contraction of neoantimycin (from tetra-lactone to tri-lactone), (ii) ring expansion of JBIR-06 (from tri-lactone to tetra-lactone), and (iii) alkyl chain diversification of JBIR-06 by the incorporation of various alkylmalonyl-CoA extender units, to generate a set of unnatural derivatives in practical yields. This study presents a useful strategy for engineering NRPS-PKS module enzymes, based on nature’s diversification of the domain and module organizations.


September 22, 2019  |  

Coculture of marine Streptomyces sp. with Bacillus sp. produces a newpiperazic acid-bearing cyclic peptide.

Microbial culture conditions in the laboratory, which conventionally involve the cultivation of one strain in one culture vessel, are vastly different from natural microbial environments. Even though perfectly mimicking natural microbial interactions is virtually impossible, the cocultivation of multiple microbial strains is a reasonable strategy to induce the production of secondary metabolites, which enables the discovery of new bioactive natural products. Our coculture of marine Streptomyces and Bacillus strains isolated together from an intertidal mudflat led to discover a new metabolite, dentigerumycin E (1). Dentigerumycin E was determined to be a new cyclic hexapeptide incorporating three piperazic acids, N-OH-Thr, N-OH-Gly, ß-OH-Leu, and a pyran-bearing polyketide acyl chain mainly by analysis of its NMR and MS spectroscopic data. The putative PKS-NRPS biosynthetic gene cluster for dentigerumycin E was found in the Streptomyces strain, providing clear evidence that this cyclic peptide is produced by the Streptomyces strain. The absolute configuration of dentigerumycin E was established based on the advanced Marfey’s method, ROESY NMR correlations, and analysis of the amino acid sequence of the ketoreductase domain in the biosynthetic gene cluster. In biological evaluation of dentigerumycin E (1) and its chemical derivatives [2-N,16-N-deoxydenteigerumycin E (2) and dentigerumycin methyl ester (3)], only dentigerumycin E exhibited antiproliferative and antimetastatic activities against human cancer cells, indicating that N-OH and carboxylic acid functional groups are essential for the biological activity.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome mining of Streptomyces xinghaiensis NRRL B-24674T for the discovery of the gene cluster involved in anticomplement activities and detection of novel xiamycin analogs.

Marine actinobacterium Streptomyces xinghaiensis NRRL B-24674T has been characterized as a novel species, but thus far, its biosynthetic potential remains unexplored. In this study, the high-quality genome sequence of S. xinghaiensis NRRL B-24674T was obtained, and the production of anticomplement agents, xiamycin analogs, and siderophores was investigated by genome mining. Anticomplement compounds are valuable for combating numerous diseases caused by the abnormal activation of the human complement system. The biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) nrps1 resembles that of complestatins, which are potent microbial-derived anticomplement agents. The identification of the nrps1 BGC revealed a core peptide that differed from that in complestatin; thus, we studied the anticomplement activity of this strain. The culture broth of S. xinghaiensis NRRL B-24674T displayed good anticomplement activity. Subsequently, the disruption of the genes in the nrps1 BGC resulted in the loss of anticomplement activity, confirming the involvement of this BGC in the biosynthesis of anticomplement agents. In addition, the mining of the BGC tep5, which resembles that of the antiviral pentacyclic indolosesquiterpene xiamycin, resulted in the discovery of nine xiamycin analogs, including three novel compounds. In addition to the BGCs responsible for desferrioxamine B, neomycin, ectoine, and carotenoid, 18 BGCs present in the genome are predicted to be novel. The results of this study unveil the potential of S. xinghaiensis as a producer of novel anticomplement agents and provide a basis for further exploration of the biosynthetic potential of S. xinghaiensis NRRL B-24674T for the discovery of novel bioactive compounds by genome mining.


September 22, 2019  |  

Discovery of the actinoplanic acid pathway in Streptomyces rapamycinicus reveals a genetically conserved synergism with rapamycin.

Actinobacteria possess a great wealth of pathways for production of bioactive compounds. Following advances in genome mining, dozens of natural product (NP) gene clusters are routinely found in each actinobacterial genome; however, the modus operandi of this large arsenal is poorly understood. During investigations of the secondary metabolome of Streptomyces rapamycinicus, the producer of rapamycin, we observed accumulation of two compounds never before reported from this organism. Structural elucidation revealed actinoplanic acid A and its demethyl analogue. Actinoplanic acids (APLs) are potent inhibitors of Ras farnesyltransferase and therefore represent bioactive compounds of medicinal interest. Supported with the unique structure of these polyketides and using genome mining, we identified a gene cluster responsible for their biosynthesis in S. rapamycinicus Based on experimental evidence and genetic organization of the cluster, we propose a stepwise biosynthesis of APL, the first bacterial example of a pathway incorporating the rare tricarballylic moiety into an NP. Although phylogenetically distant, the pathway shares some of the biosynthetic principles with the mycotoxins fumonisins. Namely, the core polyketide is acylated with the tricarballylate by an atypical nonribosomal peptide synthetase-catalyzed ester formation. Finally, motivated by the conserved colocalization of the rapamycin and APL pathway clusters in S. rapamycinicus and all other rapamycin-producing actinobacteria, we confirmed a strong synergism of these compounds in antifungal assays. Mining for such evolutionarily conserved coharboring of pathways would likely reveal further examples of NP sets, attacking multiple targets on the same foe. These could then serve as a guide for development of new combination therapies.© 2018 Mrak et al.


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  |  

Genome-directed lead discovery: biosynthesis, structure elucidation, and biological evaluation of two families of polyene macrolactams against Trypanosoma brucei.

Marine natural products are an important source of lead compounds against many pathogenic targets. Herein, we report the discovery of lobosamides A-C from a marine actinobacterium, Micromonospora sp., representing three new members of a small but growing family of bacterially produced polyene macrolactams. The lobosamides display growth inhibitory activity against the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei (lobosamide A IC50 = 0.8 µM), the causative agent of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). The biosynthetic gene cluster of the lobosamides was sequenced and suggests a conserved cluster organization among the 26-membered macrolactams. While determination of the relative and absolute configurations of many members of this family is lacking, the absolute configurations of the lobosamides were deduced using a combination of chemical modification, detailed spectroscopic analysis, and bioinformatics. We implemented a “molecules-to-genes-to-molecules” approach to determine the prevalence of similar clusters in other bacteria, which led to the discovery of two additional macrolactams, mirilactams A and B from Actinosynnema mirum. These additional analogs have allowed us to identify specific structure-activity relationships that contribute to the antitrypanosomal activity of this class. This approach illustrates the power of combining chemical analysis and genomics in the discovery and characterization of natural products as new lead compounds for neglected disease targets.


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