Publications

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2018
Zhang, JJ, Moore BS, Tang XY.  2018.  Engineering Salinispora tropica for heterologous expression of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. 102:8437-8446.   10.1007/s00253-018-9283-z   AbstractWebsite

The marine actinomycete genus Salinispora is a remarkably prolific source of structurally diverse and biologically active secondary metabolites. Herein, we select the model organism Salinispora tropica CNB-440 for development as a heterologous host for the expression of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) to complement well-established Streptomyces host strains. In order to create an integratable host with a clean background of secondary metabolism, we replaced three genes (salA-C) essential for salinosporamide biosynthesis with a cassette containing the Streptomyces coelicolor Phi C31 phage attachment site attB to generate the mutant S. tropica CNB-4401 via double-crossover recombination. This mutagenesis not only knocks-in the attachment site attB in the genome of S. tropica CNB-440 but also abolishes production of the salinosporamides, thereby simplifying the strain's chemical background. We validated this new heterologous host with the successful integration and expression of the thiolactomycin BGC that we recently identified in several S. pacifica strains. When compared to the extensively engineered superhost S. coelicolor M1152, the production of thiolactomycins from S. tropica CNB-4401 was approximately 3-fold higher. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of using a marine actinomycete as a heterologous host for natural product BGC expression. The established heterologous host may provide a useful platform to accelerate the discovery of novel natural products and engineer biosynthetic pathways.

2017
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.

2015
Bonet, B, Teufel R, Crusemann M, Ziemert N, Moore BS.  2015.  Direct capture and heterologous expression of Salinispora natural product genes for the biosynthesis of enterocin. Journal of Natural Products. 78:539-542.   10.1021/np500664q   AbstractWebsite

Heterologous expression of secondary metabolic pathways is a promising approach for the discovery and characterization of bioactive natural products. Herein we report the first heterologous expression of a natural product from the model marine actinomycete genus Salinispora. Using the recently developed method of yeast-mediated transformation-associated recombination for natural product gene clusters, we captured a type II polyketide synthase pathway from Salinispora pacifica with high homology to the enterocin pathway from Streptomyces maritimus and successfully produced enterocin in two different Streptomyces host strains. This result paves the way for the systematic interrogation of Salinispora's promising secondary metabolome.

2010
Schultz, AW, Lewis CA, Luzung MR, Baran PS, Moore BS.  2010.  Functional Characterization of the Cyclomarin/Cyclomarazine Prenyltransferase CymD Directs the Biosynthesis of Unnatural Cyclic Peptides. Journal of Natural Products. 73:373-377.   10.1021/np9006876   AbstractWebsite

In vitro and in vivo characterization of the cyclomarin/cyclomarazine prenyltransferase CymD revealed its ability to prenylate tryptophan prior to incorporation into both cyclic peptides by the nonribosomal peptide synthetase CymA. This knowledge was utilized to bioengineer novel derivatives of these marine bacterial natural products by providing synthetic N-alkyl tryptophans to a mutant of Salinispora arenicola CNS-205.