Domain Organization and Active Site Architecture of a Polyketide Synthase C-methyltransferase.
Acs Chemical Biology. 11:3319-3327. 10.1021/acschembio.6b00759 Abstract
Polyketide metabolites produced by modular type I polyketide synthases (PKS) acquire their chemical diversity through the variety of catalytic domains within modules of the pathway. Methyltransferases are among the least characterized of the catalytic domains common to PKS systems. We determined the domain boundaries and characterized the activity of a PKS C-methyltransferase (C-MT) from the curacin A biosynthetic pathway. The C-MT catalyzes S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyl transfer to the alpha-position of beta-ketoacyl substrates linked to aryl carrier protein (ACP) or a small-molecule analog but does not act on beta-hydroxyacyl substrates or malonyl-ACP. Key catalytic residues conserved in both bacterial and fungal PKS C-MTs were identified in a 2 angstrom crystal structure and validated biochemically. Analysis of the structure and the sequences bordering the C-MT provides insight into the positioning of this domain within complete PKS modules.
Bissubvilides A and B, cembrane-capnosane heterodimers from the soft coral Sarcophyton subviride.
Journal of Natural Products. 79:2552-2558. 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00453 Abstract
Two new biscembranoid-like compounds, bissubvilides A (1) and B (2), were isolated together with sarsolilide B (3), the proposed biogenetic precursor to 1, from the soft coral Sarcophyton subviride. The structures and absolute configurations were solved by spectroscopic analysis and TDDFT/ECD and DFT/NMR calculations. The bissubvilides represent a novel biscembranoid-like skeleton presumed to derive from a cembrane-type diene and a capnosane-type dienophile via a Diels-Alder reaction. These two molecules exerted no cytotoxicity against MG-63 or A549 tumor cells or HuH7 tumor stem cells.
Anatomy of the beta-branching enzyme of polyketide biosynthesis and its interaction with an acyl-ACP substrate.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 113:10316-10321. 10.1073/pnas.1607210113 Abstract
Alkyl branching at the beta position of a polyketide intermediate is an important variation on canonical polyketide natural product biosynthesis. The branching enzyme, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl synthase (HMGS), catalyzes the aldol addition of an acyl donor to a beta-keto-polyketide intermediate acceptor. HMGS is highly selective for two specialized acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) that deliver the donor and acceptor substrates. The HMGS from the curacin A biosynthetic pathway (CurD) was examined to establish the basis for ACP selectivity. The donor ACP (CurB) had high affinity for the enzyme (K-d = 0.5 mu M) and could not be substituted by the acceptor ACP. High-resolution crystal structures of HMGS alone and in complex with its donor ACP reveal a tight interaction that depends on exquisite surface shape and charge complementarity between the proteins. Selectivity is explained by HMGS binding to an unusual surface cleft on the donor ACP, in a manner that would exclude the acceptor ACP. Within the active site, HMGS discriminates between pre-and postreaction states of the donor ACP. The free phosphopantetheine (Ppant) cofactor of ACP occupies a conserved pocket that excludes the acetyl-Ppant substrate. In comparison with HMG-CoA (CoA) synthase, the homologous enzyme from primary metabolism, HMGS has several differences at the active site entrance, including a flexible-loop insertion, which may account for the specificity of one enzyme for substrates delivered by ACP and the other by CoA.
Assessment of Anabaena sp strain PCC 7120 as a heterologous expression host for cyanobacterial natural products: production of lyngbyatoxin A.
Acs Synthetic Biology. 5:978-988. 10.1021/acssynbio.6b00038 Abstract
Cyanobacteria are well-known producers of natural products of highly varied structure and biological properties. However, the long doubling times, difficulty in establishing genetic methods for marine cyanobacteria, and low compound titers have hindered research into the biosynthesis of their secondary metabolites. While a few attempts to heterologously express cyanobacterial natural products have occurred, the results have been of varied success. Here, we report the first steps in developing the model freshwater cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 (Anabaena 7120) as a general heterologous expression host for cyanobacterial secondary metabolites. We show that Anabaena 7120 can heterologously synthesize lyngbyatoxin A in yields comparable to those of the native producer, Moorea producens, and detail the design and use of replicative plasmids for compound production. We also demonstrate that Anabaena 7120 recognizes promoters from various biosynthetic gene clusters from both free-living and obligate symbiotic marine cyanobacteria. Through simple genetic manipulations, the titer of lyngbyatoxin A can be improved up to 13-fold. The development of Anabaena 7120 as a general heterologous expression host enables investigation of interesting cyanobacterial biosynthetic reactions and genetic engineering of their biosynthetic pathways.
Sharing and community curation of mass spectrometry data with Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking.
Nature Biotechnology. 34:828-837. 10.1038/nbt.3597 Abstract
The potential of the diverse chemistries present in natural products (NP) for biotechnology and medicine remains untapped because NP databases are not searchable with raw data and the NP community has no way to share data other than in published papers. Although mass spectrometry (MS) techniques are well-suited to high-throughput characterization of NP, there is a pressing need for an infrastructure to enable sharing and curation of data. We present Global Natural Products Social Molecular Networking (GNPS; http://gnps.ucsd.edu), an open-access knowledge base for community-wide organization and sharing of raw, processed or identified tandem mass (MS/MS) spectrometry data. In GNPS, crowdsourced curation of freely available community-wide reference MS libraries will underpin improved annotations. Data-driven social-networking should facilitate identification of spectra and foster collaborations. We also introduce the concept of 'living data' through continuous reanalysis of deposited data.
Apratoxin A shows novel pancreas-targeting activity through the binding of Sec 61.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 15:1208-1216. 10.1158/1535-7163.mct-15-0648 Abstract
Apratoxin A is a natural product with potent antiproliferative activity against many human cancer cell lines. However, we and other investigators observed that it has a narrow therapeutic window in vivo. Previous mechanistic studies have suggested its involvement in the secretory pathway as well as the process of chaperone-mediated autophagy. Still the link between the biologic activities of apratoxin A and its in vivo toxicity has remained largely unknown. A better understanding of this relationship is critically important for any further development of apratoxin A as an anticancer drug. Here, we describe a detailed pathologic analysis that revealed a specific pancreas-targeting activity of apratoxin A, such that severe pancreatic atrophy was observed in apratoxin A-treated animals. Follow-up tissue distribution studies further uncovered a unique drug distribution profile for apratoxin A, showing high drug exposure in pancreas and salivary gland. It has been shown previously that apratoxin A inhibits the protein secretory pathway by preventing cotranslational translocation. However, the molecule targeted by apratoxin A in this pathway has not been well defined. By using a H-3-labeled apratoxin A probe and specific Sec 61 alpha/beta antibodies, we identified that the Sec 61 complex is the molecular target of apratoxin A. We conclude that apratoxin A in vivo toxicity is likely caused by pancreas atrophy due to high apratoxin A exposure. (C)2016 AACR.
Role of bacteria in the production and degradation of Microcystis cyanopeptides.
Microbiologyopen. 5:469-478. 10.1002/mbo3.343 Abstract
The freshwater cyanobacteria, Microcystis sp., commonly form large colonies with bacteria embedded in their mucilage. Positive and negative interactions between Microcystis species and their associated bacteria have been reported. However, the potential role of bacteria in the production and degradation of cyanobacterial secondary metabolites has not been investigated. In this study, a Microcystis-associated bacterial community was isolated and added to the axenic M. aeruginosaPCC7806 liquid culture. After 3years of cocultivation, we studied the bacterial genetic diversity adapted to the PCC7806 strain and compared the intra- and extracellular concentration of major cyanopeptides produced by the cyanobacterial strain under xenic and axenic conditions. Mass spectrometric analyses showed that the intracellular concentration of peptides was not affected by the presence of bacteria. Interestingly, the produced peptides were detected in the axenic media but could not be found in the xenic media. This investigation revealed that a natural bacterial community, dominated by Alpha-proteobacteria, was able to degrade a wide panel of structurally varying cyclic cyanopeptides.
Apratoxin kills cells by direct blockade of the sec61 protein translocation channel.
Cell Chemical Biology. 23:561-566. 10.1016/j.chembiol.2016.04.008 Abstract
Apratoxin A is a cytotoxic natural product that prevents the biogenesis of secretory and membrane proteins. Biochemically, apratoxin A inhibits cotranslational translocation into the ER, but its cellular target and mechanism of action have remained controversial. Here, we demonstrate that apratoxin A prevents protein translocation by directly targeting Sec61 alpha, the central subunit of the protein translocation channel. Mutagenesis and competitive photo-crosslinking studies indicate that apratoxin A binds to the Sec61 lateral gate in a manner that differs from cotransin, a substrate-selective Sec61 inhibitor. In contrast to cotransin, apratoxin A does not exhibit a substrate-selective inhibitory mechanism, but blocks ER translocation of all tested Sec61 clients with similar potency. Our results suggest that multiple structurally unrelated natural products have evolved to target overlapping but non-identical binding sites on Sec61, thereby producing distinct biological outcomes.
Integrating mass spectrometry and genomics for cyanobacterial metabolite discovery.
Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology. 43:313-324. 10.1007/s10295-015-1705-7 Abstract
Filamentous marine cyanobacteria produce bioactive natural products with both potential therapeutic value and capacity to be harmful to human health. Genome sequencing has revealed that cyanobacteria have the capacity to produce many more secondary metabolites than have been characterized. The biosynthetic pathways that encode cyanobacterial natural products are mostly uncharacterized, and lack of cyanobacterial genetic tools has largely prevented their heterologous expression. Hence, a combination of cutting edge and traditional techniques has been required to elucidate their secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways. Here, we review the discovery and refined biochemical understanding of the olefin synthase and fatty acid ACP reductase/aldehyde deformylating oxygenase pathways to hydrocarbons, and the curacin A, jamaicamide A, lyngbyabellin, columbamide, and a trans-acyltransferase macrolactone pathway encoding phormidolide. We integrate into this discussion the use of genomics, mass spectrometric networking, biochemical characterization, and isolation and structure elucidation techniques.
Changes in secondary metabolic profiles of Microcystis aeruginosa strains in response to intraspecific interactions.
Environmental Microbiology. 18:384-400. 10.1111/1462-2920.12904 Abstract
The cyanobacteria Microcystis proliferate in freshwater ecosystems and produce bioactive compounds including the harmful toxins microcystins (MC). These secondary metabolites play an important role in shaping community composition through biotic interactions although their role and mode of regulation are poorly understood. As natural cyanobacterial populations include producing and non-producing strains, we tested if the production of a range of peptides by coexisting cells could be regulated through intraspecific interactions. With an innovative co-culturing chamber together with advanced mass spectrometry (MS) techniques, we monitored the growth and compared the metabolic profiles of a MC-producing as well as two non-MC-producing Microcystis strains under mono- and co-culture conditions. In monocultures, these strains grew comparably; however, the non-MC-producing mutant produced higher concentrations of cyanopeptolins, aerucyclamides and aeruginosins than the wild type. Physiological responses to co-culturing were reflected in a quantitative change in the production of the major peptides. Using a MS/MS-based molecular networking approach, we identified new analogues of known classes of peptides as well as new compounds. This work provides new insights into the factors that regulate the production of MC and other secondary metabolites in cyanobacteria, and suggests interchangeable or complementary functions allowing bloom-forming cyanobacteria to efficiently colonize and dominate in fluctuating aquatic environments.
Kalkipyrone B, a marine cyanobacterial gamma-pyrone possessing cytotoxic and anti-fungal activities.
Phytochemistry. 122:113-118. 10.1016/j.phytochem.2015.11.011 Abstract
Bioassay-guided fractionation of two marine cyanobacterial extracts using the H-460 human lung cancer cell line and the OVC-5 human ovarian cancer cell line led to the isolation of three related alpha-methoxy-beta, beta'-dimethyl-gamma-pyrones each containing a modified alkyl chain, one of which was identified as the previously reported kalkipyrone and designated kalkipyrone A. The second compound was an analog designated kalkipyrone B. The third was identified as the recently reported yoshinone A, also isolated from a marine cyanobacterium. Kalkipyrone A and B were obtained from a field-collection of the cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya sp. from Fagasa Bay, American Samoa, while yoshinone A was isolated from a field-collection of cyanobacteria (cf. Schizothrix sp.) from Panama. One-dimensional and twodimensional NMR experiments were used to determine the overall structures and relative configurations of the kalkipyrones, and the absolute configuration of kalkipyrone B was determined by H-1 NMR analysis of diastereomeric Mosher's esters. Kalkipyrone A showed good cytotoxicity to H-460 human lung cancer cells (EC50 = 0.9 mu M), while kalkipyrone B and yoshinone A were less active (EC50 = 9.0 mu M and >10 mu M, respectively). Both kalkipyrone A and B showed moderate toxicity to Saccharomyces cerevisiae ABC16-Monster strain (IC50 = 14.6 and 13.4 mu M, respectively), whereas yoshinone A was of low toxicity to this yeast strain (IC50 = 63.8 mu M). (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Medusamide A, a Panamanian cyanobacterial depsipeptide with multiple beta-amino acids.
Organic Letters. 18:352-355. 10.1021/acs.orglett.5b03110 Abstract
From a collection of marine cyanobacteria made in the Coiba National Park along the Pacific coast of the Republic of Panama a novel cyclic depsipeptide, given the trivial name medusamide A, has been isolated and fully characterized. Medusamide A contains four contiguous beta-amino acid (2R,3R)-3-amino-2-methylhexanoic acid (Amha) residues. This is the first report of multiple Amha residues and contiguous beta-amino acid residues within a single cyclic peptide-type natural product. Stereochemical assignment of the Amha residues was completed following the synthesis of reference standards for this beta-amino acid and the subsequent derivatization with Marfey's reagent and LC-MS analysis.