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Letzel, AC, Li J, Amos GCA, Millan-Aguinaga N, Ginigini J, Abdelmohsen UR, Gaudencio SP, Ziemert N, Moore BS, Jensen PR.  2017.  Genomic insights into specialized metabolism in the marine actinomycete Salinispora. Environmental Microbiology. 19:3660-3673.   10.1111/1462-2920.13867   AbstractWebsite

Comparative genomics is providing new opportunities to address the diversity and distributions of genes encoding the biosynthesis of specialized metabolites. An analysis of 119 genome sequences representing three closely related species of the marine actinomycete genus Salinispora reveals extraordinary biosynthetic diversity in the form of 176 distinct biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) of which only 24 have been linked to their products. Remarkably, more than half of the BGCs were observed in only one or two strains, suggesting they were acquired relatively recently in the evolutionary history of the genus. These acquired gene clusters are concentrated in specific genomic islands, which represent hot spots for BGC acquisition. While most BGCs are stable in terms of their chromosomal position, others migrated to different locations or were exchanged with unrelated gene clusters suggesting a plug and play type model of evolution that provides a mechanism to test the relative fitness effects of specialized metabolites. Transcriptome analyses were used to address the relationships between BGC abundance, chromosomal position and product discovery. The results indicate that recently acquired BGCs can be functional and that complex evolutionary processes shape the micro-diversity of specialized metabolism observed in closely related environmental bacteria.

Crusemann, M, O'Neill EC, Larson CB, Melnik AV, Floros DJ, da Silva RR, Jensen PR, Dorrestein PC, Moore BS.  2017.  Prioritizing natural product diversity in a collection of 146 bacterial strains based on growth and extraction protocols. Journal of Natural Products. 80:588-597.   10.1021/acsjnatprod.6b00722   AbstractWebsite

In order to expedite the rapid and efficient discovery and isolation of novel specialized metabolites, while minimizing the waste of resources on rediscovery of known compounds, it is crucial to develop efficient approaches for strain prioritization, rapid dereplication, and the assessment of favored cultivation and extraction conditions. Herein we interrogated bacterial strains by systematically evaluating cultivation and extraction parameters with LC-MS/MS analysis and subsequent dereplication through the Global Natural Product Social Molecular Networking (GNPS) platform. The developed method is fast, requiring minimal time and sample material, and is compatible with high throughput extract analysis, thereby streamlining strain prioritization and evaluation of culturing parameters. With this approach, we analyzed 146 marine Salinispora and Streptomyces strains that were grown and extracted using multiple different protocols. In total, 603 samples were analyzed, generating approximately 1.8 million mass spectra. We constructed a comprehensive molecular network and identified 15 molecular families of diverse natural products and their analogues. The size and breadth of this network shows statistically supported trends in molecular diversity when comparing growth and extraction conditions. The network provides an extensive survey of the biosynthetic capacity of the strain collection and a method to compare strains based on the variety and novelty of their metabolites. This approach allows us to quickly identify patterns in metabolite production that can be linked to taxonomy, culture conditions, and extraction methods, as well as informing the most valuable growth and extraction conditions.

Nguyen, DD, Melnik AV, Koyama N, Lu XW, Schorn M, Fang JS, Aguinaldo K, Lincecum TL, Ghequire MGK, Carrion VJ, Cheng TL, Duggan BM, Malone JG, Mauchline TH, Sanchez LM, Kilpatrick AM, Raaijmakers JM, De Mot R, Moore BS, Medema MH, Dorrestein PC.  2017.  Indexing the Pseudomonas specialized metabolome enabled the discovery of poaeamide B and the bananamides. Nature Microbiology. 2   10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.197   AbstractWebsite

Pseudomonads are cosmopolitan microorganisms able to produce a wide array of specialized metabolites. These molecules allow Pseudomonas to scavenge nutrients, sense population density and enhance or inhibit growth of competing microorganisms. However, these valuable metabolites are typically characterized one-molecule-one-microbe at a time, instead of being inventoried in large numbers. To index and map the diversity of molecules detected from these organisms, 260 strains of ecologically diverse origins were subjected to mass-spectrometry-based molecular networking. Molecular networking not only enables dereplication of molecules, but also sheds light on their structural relationships. Moreover, it accelerates the discovery of new molecules. Here, by indexing the Pseudomonas specialized metabolome, we report the molecular-networking-based discovery of four molecules and their evolutionary relationships: a poaeamide analogue and a molecular subfamily of cyclic lipopeptides, bananamides 1, 2 and 3. Analysis of their biosynthetic gene cluster shows that it constitutes a distinct evolutionary branch of the Pseudomonas cyclic lipopeptides. Through analysis of an additional 370 extracts of wheat-associated Pseudomonas, we demonstrate how the detailed knowledge from our reference index can be efficiently propagated to annotate complex metabolomic data from other studies, akin to the way in which newly generated genomic information can be compared to data from public databases.

Jones, AC, Ottilie S, Eustaquio AS, Edwards DJ, Gerwick L, Moore BS, Gerwick WH.  2012.  Evaluation of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) as a heterologous expression host for the cyanobacterial protein kinase C activator lyngbyatoxin A. Febs Journal. 279:1243-1251.   10.1111/j.1742-4658.2012.08517.x   AbstractWebsite

Filamentous marine cyanobacteria are extremely rich sources of bioactive natural products and often employ highly unusual biosynthetic enzymes in their assembly. However, the current lack of techniques for stable DNA transfer into these filamentous organisms, combined with the absence of heterologous expression strategies for nonribosomal cyanobacterial gene clusters, prohibit the creation of mutant strains or the heterologous production of these cyanobacterial compounds in other bacteria. In this study, we evaluated the capability of a derivative of the model actinomycete Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) to express enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of the protein kinase C activator lyngbyatoxin A from a Hawaiian strain of Moorea producta (previously classified as Lyngbya majuscula). Despite large differences in GC content between these two bacteria and the presence of rare TTA/UUA leucine codons in lyngbyatoxin ORFs we were able to achieve expression of the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase LtxB and reverse prenyltransferase LtxC in S. coelicolor M512 and confirmed the in vitro functionality of S. coelicolor overexpressed LtxC. Attempts to express the entire lyngbyatoxin A gene cluster in S. coelicolor M512 were not successful because of transcript termination observed for the ltxA gene, which encodes a large nonribosomal peptide synthetase. However, these attempts did show a detectable level of cyanobacterial promoter recognition in Streptomyces. Successful expression of lyngbyatoxin A proteins in Streptomyces provides a new platform for biochemical investigation of natural product enzymes from Moorea strains.