Modern medicine is unthinkable without antibiotics; yet, growing issues with microbial drug resistance require intensified search for new active compounds. Natural products generated by Actinobacteria have been a rich source of candidate antibiotics, for example anthracimycin that, so far, is only known to be produced by Streptomyces species. Based on sequence similarity with the respective biosynthetic cluster, we sifted through available microbial genome data with the goal to find alternative anthracimycin-producing organisms. In this work, we report about the prediction and experimental verification of the production of anthracimycin derivatives by Nocardiopsis kunsanensis, a non-Streptomyces actinobacterial microorganism. We discovered N. kunsanensis to predominantly produce a new anthracimycin derivative with methyl group at C-8 and none at C-2, labeled anthracimycin BII-2619, besides a minor amount of anthracimycin. It displays activity against Gram-positive bacteria with similar low level of mammalian cytotoxicity as that of anthracimycin.
Journal: Journal of genomics