Functional genomics has received considerable attention in the post-genomic era, as it aims to identify function(s) for different genes. One way to study gene function is to investigate the alterations in the responses of deletion mutants to different stimuli. Here we investigate the genetic profile of yeast non-essential gene deletion array (yGDA, ~4700 strains) for increased sensitivity to paromomycin, which targets the process of protein synthesis.
As expected, our analysis indicated that the majority of deletion strains (134) with increased sensitivity to paromomycin, are involved in protein biosynthesis. The remaining strains can be divided into smaller functional categories: metabolism (45), cellular component biogenesis and organization (28), DNA maintenance (21), transport (20), others (38) and unknown (39). These may represent minor cellular target sites (side-effects) for paromomycin. They may also represent novel links to protein synthesis. One of these strains carries a deletion for a previously uncharacterized ORF, YBR261C, that we term TAE1 for Translation Associated Element 1. Our focused follow-up experiments indicated that deletion of TAE1 alters the ribosomal profile of the mutant cells. Also, gene deletion strain for TAE1 has defects in both translation efficiency and fidelity. Miniaturized synthetic genetic array analysis further indicates that TAE1 genetically interacts with 16 ribosomal protein genes. Phenotypic suppression analysis using TAE1 overexpression also links TAE1 to protein synthesis.
We show that a previously uncharacterized ORF, YBR261C, affects the process of protein synthesis and reaffirm that large-scale genetic profile analysis can be a useful tool to study novel gene function(s).
The chemical-genetic profile can be defined as quantitative values of deletion strains' growth defects under exposure to chemicals. In yeast, the compendium of chemical-genetic profiles of genomewide deletion strains under many different chemicals has been used for identifying direct target proteins and a common mode-of-action of those chemicals. In the previous study, valuable biological information such as protein–protein and genetic interactions has not been fully utilized. In our study, we integrated this compendium and biological interactions into the comprehensive collection of ∼490 protein complexes of yeast for model-based prediction of a drug's target proteins and similar drugs. We assumed that those protein complexes (PCs) were functional units for yeast cell growth and regarded them as hidden factors and developed the PC-based Bayesian factor model that relates the chemical-genetic profile at the level of organism phenotypes to the hidden activities of PCs at the molecular level. The inferred PC activities provided the predictive power of a common mode-of-action of drugs as well as grouping of PCs with similar functions. In addition, our PC-based model allowed us to develop a new effective method to predict a drug's target pathway, by which we were able to highlight the target-protein, TOR1, of rapamycin. Our study is the first approach to model phenotypes of systematic deletion strains in terms of protein complexes. We believe that our PC-based approach can provide an appropriate framework for combining and modeling several types of chemical-genetic profiles including interspecies. Such efforts will contribute to predicting more precisely relevant pathways including target proteins that interact directly with bioactive compounds.
Finding the specific targets of chemicals and deciphering how drugs work in our body is important for the effective development of new drugs. Growth profiles of yeast genomewide deletion strains under many different chemicals have been used for identifying target proteins and a common mode-of-action of drugs. In this study, we integrated those growth profiles with biological information such as protein–protein interactions and genetic interactions to develop a new method to infer the mode-of-action of drugs. We assume that the protein complexes (PCs) are functional units for cell growth regulation, analogous to the transcriptional factors (TFs) for gene regulation. We also assume that the relative cell growth of a specific deletion mutant in the presence of a specific drug is determined by the interactions between the PCs and the deleted gene of the mutant. We then developed a computational model with which we were able to infer the hidden activities of PCs on the cell growth and showed that yeast growth phenotypes could be effectively modeled by PCs in a biologically meaningful way by demonstrating that the inferred activities of PCs contributed to predicting groups of similar drugs as well as proteins and pathways targeted by drugs.
Yeast deletion-mutant collections have been successfully used to infer the mode-of-action of drugs especially by profiling chemical-genetic and genetic-genetic interactions on a genome-wide scale. Although tens of thousands of those profiles are publicly available, a lack of an accurate method for mining such data has been a major bottleneck for more widespread use of these useful resources.
For general usage of those public resources, we designed FitRankDB as a general repository of fitness profiles, and developed a new search algorithm, FitSearch, for identifying the profiles that have a high similarity score with statistical significance for a given fitness profile. We demonstrated that our new repository and algorithm are highly beneficial to researchers who attempting to make hypotheses based on unknown modes-of-action of bioactive compounds, regardless of the types of experiments that have been performed using yeast deletion-mutant collection in various types of different measurement platforms, especially non-chip-based platforms.
We showed that our new database and algorithm are useful when attempting to construct a hypothesis regarding the unknown function of a bioactive compound through small-scale experiments with a yeast deletion collection in a platform independent manner. The FitRankDB and FitSearch enhance the ease of searching public yeast fitness profiles and obtaining insights into unknown mechanisms of action of drugs. FitSearch is freely available at http://fitsearch.kaist.ac.kr.
Large-scale chemical genetics screens (chemogenomics) in yeast have been widely used to find drug targets, understand the mechanism-of-action of compounds, and unravel the biochemistry of drug resistance. Chemogenomics is based on the comparison of growth of gene deletants in the presence and absence of a chemical substance. Such studies showed that more than 90% of the yeast genes are required for growth in the presence of at least one chemical. Analysis of these data, using computational approaches, has revealed non-trivial features of the natural chemical tolerance systems. As a result two non-overlapping sets of genes are seen to respectively impart robustness and evolvability in the context of natural chemical resistance. The former is composed of multidrug-resistance genes, whereas the latter comprises genes sharing chemical genetic profiles with many others. Recent publications showing the potential applications chemogenomics in studying the pharmacological basis of various drugs are discussed, as well as the expansion of chemogenomics to other organisms. Finally, integration of chemogenomics with sensitive sequence analysis and ubiquitination/phosphorylation data led to the discovery of a new conserved domain and important post-translational modification pathways involved in stress resistance.
chemogenomics; yeast; chemical genetics; evolution; multi drug resistance; biochemistry; ubiquitin; phosphorylation
We cloned GDH2, the gene that encodes the NAD-linked glutamate dehydrogenase in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, by purifying the enzyme, making polyclonal antibodies to it, and using the antibodies to screen a lambda gt11 yeast genomic library. A yeast strain with a deletion-disruption allele of GDH2 which replaced the wild-type gene grew very poorly with glutamate as a nitrogen source, but growth improved significantly when the strain was also provided with adenine or other nitrogenous compounds whose biosynthesis requires glutamine. Our results indicate that the NAD-linked glutamate dehydrogenase catalyzes the major, but not sole, pathway for generation of ammonia from glutamate. We also isolated yeast mutants that lacked glutamate synthase activity and present evidence which shows that normally NAD-linked glutamate dehydrogenase is not involved in glutamate biosynthesis, but that if the enzyme is overexpressed, it may function reversibly in intact cells.
The relationship between co-fitness and co-inhibition of genes in chemicogenomic yeast screens provides insights into gene function and drug target prediction.
We systematically analyzed the relationships between gene fitness profiles (co-fitness) and drug inhibition profiles (co-inhibition) from several hundred chemogenomic screens in yeast. Co-fitness predicted gene functions distinct from those derived from other assays and identified conditionally dependent protein complexes. Co-inhibitory compounds were weakly correlated by structure and therapeutic class. We developed an algorithm predicting protein targets of chemical compounds and verified its accuracy with experimental testing. Fitness data provide a novel, systems-level perspective on the cell.
Acetaldehyde is a toxic compound produced by Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells under several growth conditions. The adverse effects of this molecule are important, as significant amounts accumulate inside the cells. By means of global gene expression analyses, we have detected the effects of acetaldehyde addition in the expression of about 400 genes. Repressed genes include many genes involved in cell cycle control, cell polarity, and the mitochondrial protein biosynthesis machinery. Increased expression is displayed in many stress response genes, as well as other families of genes, such as those encoding vitamin B1 biosynthesis machinery and proteins for aryl alcohol metabolism. The induction of genes involved in sulfur metabolism is dependent on Met4p and other well-known factors involved in the transcription of MET genes under nonrepressing conditions of sulfur metabolism. Moreover, the deletion of MET4 leads to increased acetaldehyde sensitivity. TPO genes encoding polyamine transporters are also induced by acetaldehyde; in this case, the regulation is dependent on the Haa1p transcription factor. In this paper, we discuss the connections between acetaldehyde and the processes affected by this compound in yeast cells with reference to the microarray data.
Representatives of Actinobacteria were isolated from the marine sponge Halichondria panicea collected from the Baltic Sea (Germany). For the first time, a comprehensive investigation was performed with regard to phylogenetic strain identification, secondary metabolite profiling, bioactivity determination, and genetic exploration of biosynthetic genes, especially concerning the relationships of the abundance of biosynthesis gene fragments to the number and diversity of produced secondary metabolites. All strains were phylogenetically identified by 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses and were found to belong to the genera Actinoalloteichus, Micrococcus, Micromonospora, Nocardiopsis, and Streptomyces. Secondary metabolite profiles of 46 actinobacterial strains were evaluated, 122 different substances were identified, and 88 so far unidentified compounds were detected. The extracts from most of the cultures showed biological activities. In addition, the presence of biosynthesis genes encoding polyketide synthases (PKSs) and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) in 30 strains was established. It was shown that strains in which either PKS or NRPS genes were identified produced a significantly higher number of metabolites and exhibited a larger number of unidentified, possibly new metabolites than other strains. Therefore, the presence of PKS and NRPS genes is a good indicator for the selection of strains to isolate new natural products.
CTBT (7-chlorotetrazolo [5,1-c]benzo[1,2,4]triazine) increases efficacy of commonly used antifungal agents by an unknown mechanism. It increases the susceptibility of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida albicans and Candida glabrata cells to cycloheximide, 5-fluorocytosine and azole antimycotic drugs. Here we elucidate CTBT mode of action with a combination of systematic genetic and transcriptome analysis.
To identify the cellular processes affected by CTBT, we screened the systematic haploid deletion mutant collection for CTBT sensitive mutants. We identified 169 hypersensitive deletion mutants. The deleted genes encode proteins mainly involved in mitochondrial functions, DNA repair, transcription and chromatin remodeling, and oxidative stress response. We found that the susceptibility of yeast cells to CTBT depends on molecular oxygen. Transcriptome analysis of the immediate early response to CTBT revealed rapid induction of oxidant and stress response defense genes. Many of these genes depend on the transcription factors Yap1 and Cin5. Yap1 accumulates rapidly in the nucleus in CTBT treated cells suggesting acute oxidative stress. Moreover, molecular calculations supported a superoxide generating activity of CTBT. Superoxide production in vivo by CTBT was found associated to mitochondria as indicated by oxidation of MitoSOX Red.
We conclude that CTBT causes intracellular superoxide production and oxidative stress in fungal cells and is thus enhancing antimycotic drug effects by a secondary stress.
We have determined that TPD3, a gene previously identified in a screen for mutants defective in tRNA biosynthesis, most likely encodes the A regulatory subunit of the major protein phosphatase 2A species in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The predicted amino acid sequence of the product of TPD3 is highly homologous to the sequence of the mammalian A subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. In addition, antibodies raised against Tpd3p specifically precipitate a significant fraction of the protein phosphatase 2A activity in the cell, and extracts of tpd3 strains yield a different chromatographic profile of protein phosphatase 2A than do extracts of isogenic TPD3 strains. tpd3 deletion strains generally grow poorly and have at least two distinct phenotypes. At reduced temperatures, tpd3 strains appear to be defective in cytokinesis, since most cells become multibudded and multinucleate following a shift to 13 degrees C. This is similar to the phenotype obtained by overexpression of the protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit or by loss of CDC55, a gene that encodes a protein with homology to a second regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A. At elevated temperatures, tpd3 strains are defective in transcription by RNA polymerase III. Consistent with this in vivo phenotype, extracts of tpd3 strains fail to support in vitro transcription of tRNA genes, a defect that can be reversed by addition of either purified RNA polymerase III or TFIIIB. These results reinforce the notion that protein phosphatase 2A affects a variety of biological processes in the cell and provide an initial identification of critical substrates for this phosphatase.
To better understand off-target effects of widely prescribed psychoactive drugs, we performed a comprehensive series of chemogenomic screens using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system. Because the known human targets of these drugs do not exist in yeast, we could employ the yeast gene deletion collections and parallel fitness profiling to explore potential off-target effects in a genome-wide manner. Among 214 tested, documented psychoactive drugs, we identified 81 compounds that inhibited wild-type yeast growth and were thus selected for genome-wide fitness profiling. Many of these drugs had a propensity to affect multiple cellular functions. The sensitivity profiles of half of the analyzed drugs were enriched for core cellular processes such as secretion, protein folding, RNA processing, and chromatin structure. Interestingly, fluoxetine (Prozac) interfered with establishment of cell polarity, cyproheptadine (Periactin) targeted essential genes with chromatin-remodeling roles, while paroxetine (Paxil) interfered with essential RNA metabolism genes, suggesting potential secondary drug targets. We also found that the more recently developed atypical antipsychotic clozapine (Clozaril) had no fewer off-target effects in yeast than the typical antipsychotics haloperidol (Haldol) and pimozide (Orap). Our results suggest that model organism pharmacogenetic studies provide a rational foundation for understanding the off-target effects of clinically important psychoactive agents and suggest a rational means both for devising compound derivatives with fewer side effects and for tailoring drug treatment to individual patient genotypes.
Neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression and psychosis affect one-quarter of all individuals during their lifetime, and despite efforts to improve the selectivity of psychoactive drugs, all are associated with side effects. Drug efficacy and tolerance are known to be linked to an individual's genetic profile, but little is known about the nature of this correlation due, in part, to the current emphasis on screening compounds against targets in vitro. Here we present a comprehensive, genome-wide effort to understand drug effects on the cellular level using an unbiased genome-wide assay to determine the importance of every yeast gene for tolerance to 81 psychoactive drugs. We found that these medications perturbed many evolutionarily conserved genes and cellular pathways, such as those required for vesicle transport, establishment of cell polarity, and chromosome biology. The 500,000 drug–gene measurements obtained in this study increase our understanding of the mechanism of action of psychoactive drugs. Specifically, this study provides a framework to assess the next generation of psychoactive agents and to guide personalized medicine approaches that associate genotype and phenotype.
Most of the components of the membrane and protein traffic machinery were discovered by perturbing their functions, either with bioactive compounds or by mutations. However, the mechanisms responsible for exocytic transport vesicle formation at the Golgi and endosomes are still largely unknown. Both the exocytic traffic routes and the signaling pathways that regulate these routes are highly complex and robust, so that defects can be overcome by alternate pathways or mechanisms. A classical yeast genetic screen designed to account for the robustness of the exocytic pathway identified a novel conserved gene, AVL9, that functions in late exocytic transport. We now describe a chemical-genetic version of the mutant screen, in which we performed a high-throughput phenotypic screen of a large compound library and identified novel small molecule secretory inhibitors. In order to maximize the number and diversity of our hits, the screen was performed in a pdr5Δ snq2Δ mutant background, which lacks two transporters responsible for pleiotropic drug resistance. However, we found that deletion of both transporters reduced the fitness of our screen strain, whereas the pdr5Δ mutation had relatively small effect on growth and was also the more important transporter mutation for conferring sensitivity to our hits. In this and similar chemical-genetic yeast screens, using just a single pump mutation may be sufficient for increasing hit diversity while minimizing the physiological effects of transporter mutations.
antifungal agents; biological activity; chemical genetics; inhibitors; protein traffic
The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a eukaryotic organism with extensive genetic redundancy. Large-scale gene deletion analysis has shown that over 80% of the ~6200 predicted genes are nonessential and that the functions of 30% of all ORFs remain unclassified, implying that yeast cells can tolerate deletion of a substantial number of individual genes. For example, a class of zinc finger proteins containing C2H2 zinc fingers in tandem arrays of two or three is predicted to be transcription factors; however, seven of the thirty-one predicted genes of this class are nonessential, and their functions are poorly understood. In this study we completed a transcriptomic profiling of three mutants lacking C2H2 zinc finger proteins, ypr013cΔ,ypr015cΔ and ypr013cΔypr015cΔ.
Gene expression patterns were remarkably different between wild type and the mutants. The results indicate altered expression of 79 genes in ypr013cΔ, 185 genes in ypr015cΔ and 426 genes in the double mutant when compared with that of the wild type strain. More than 80% of the alterations in the double mutants were not observed in either one of the single deletion mutants. Functional categorization based on Munich Information Center for Protein Sequences (MIPS) revealed up-regulation of genes related to transcription and down-regulation of genes involving cell rescue and defense, suggesting a decreased response to stress conditions. Genes related to cell cycle and DNA processing whose expression was affected by single or double deletions were also identified.
Our results suggest that microarray analysis can define the biological roles of zinc finger proteins with unknown functions and identify target genes that are regulated by these putative transcriptional factors. These findings also suggest that both YPR013C and YPR015C have biological processes in common, in addition to their own regulatory pathways.
Colony development, which includes hyphal extension, branching, anastomosis, and asexual sporulation, is a fundamental aspect of the life cycle of filamentous fungi; genetic mechanisms underlying these phenomena are poorly understood. We conducted transcriptional profiling during colony development of the model filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, using 70-mer oligonucleotide microarrays. Relative mRNA expression levels were determined for six sections of defined age excised from a 27-h-old N. crassa colony. Functional category analysis showed that the expression of genes involved in cell membrane biosynthesis, polar growth, and cellular signaling was enriched at the periphery of the colony. The relative expression of genes involved in protein synthesis and energy production was enriched in the middle section of the colony, while sections of the colony undergoing asexual development (conidiogenesis) were enriched in expression of genes involved in protein/peptide degradation and unclassified proteins. A cross-examination of the N. crassa data set with a published data set of Aspergillus niger revealed shared patterns in the spatiotemporal regulation of gene orthologs during colony development. At present, less than 50% of genes in N. crassa have functional annotation, which imposes the chief limitation on data analysis. Using an evolutionary approach, we observed that the expression of phylogenetically conserved groups of genes was enriched in the middle section of an N. crassa colony whereas expression of genes unique to euascomycete species and of N. crassa orphan genes was enriched at the colony periphery and in the older, conidiating sections of a fungal colony.
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is able to adapt and in situ detoxify lignocellulose derived inhibitors such as furfural and HMF. The length of lag phase for cell growth in response to the inhibitor challenge has been used to measure tolerance of strain performance. Mechanisms of yeast tolerance at the genome level remain unknown. Using systems biology approach, this study investigated comparative transcriptome profiling, metabolic profiling, cell growth response, and gene regulatory interactions of yeast strains and selective gene deletion mutations in response to HMF challenges during the lag phase of growth.
We identified 365 candidate genes and found at least 3 significant components involving some of these genes that enable yeast adaptation and tolerance to HMF in yeast. First, functional enzyme coding genes such as ARI1, ADH6, ADH7, and OYE3, as well as gene interactions involved in the biotransformation and inhibitor detoxification were the direct driving force to reduce HMF damages in cells. Expressions of these genes were regulated by YAP1 and its closely related regulons. Second, a large number of PDR genes, mainly regulated by PDR1 and PDR3, were induced during the lag phase and the PDR gene family-centered functions, including specific and multiple functions involving cellular transport such as TPO1, TPO4, RSB1, PDR5, PDR15, YOR1, and SNQ2, promoted cellular adaptation and survival in order to cope with the inhibitor stress. Third, expressed genes involving degradation of damaged proteins and protein modifications such as SHP1 and SSA4, regulated by RPN4, HSF1, and other co-regulators, were necessary for yeast cells to survive and adapt the HMF stress. A deletion mutation strain Δrpn4 was unable to recover the growth in the presence of HMF.
Complex gene interactions and regulatory networks as well as co-regulations exist in yeast adaptation and tolerance to the lignocellulose derived inhibitor HMF. Both induced and repressed genes involving diversified functional categories are accountable for adaptation and energy rebalancing in yeast to survive and adapt the HMF stress during the lag phase of growth. Transcription factor genes YAP1, PDR1, PDR3, RPN4, and HSF1 appeared to play key regulatory rules for global adaptation in the yeast S. cerevisiae.
Bacterial operons are nature’s tool for regulating and coordinating multi-gene expression in prokaryotes. They are also a gene architecture commonly used in the biosynthesis of many pharmaceutically important compounds and industrially useful chemicals. Despite being an important eukaryotic production host, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has never had such gene architecture. Here, we report the development of a system to assemble and regulate a multi-gene pathway in S. cerevisiae. Full pathways can be constructed using pre-made parts from a plasmid toolbox. Subsequently, through the use of a yeast strain containing a stably integrated gene switch, the assembled pathway can be regulated using a readily available and inexpensive compound—estradiol—with extremely high sensitivity (10 nM). To demonstrate the use of the system, we assembled the five-gene zeaxanthin biosynthetic pathway in a single step and showed the ligand-dependent coordinated expression of all five genes as well as the tightly regulated production of zeaxanthin. Compared with a previously reported constitutive zeaxanthin pathway, our inducible pathway was shown to have 50-fold higher production level.
Seaweeds of the Laurencia genus have a broad geographic distribution and are largely recognized as important sources of secondary metabolites, mainly halogenated compounds exhibiting diverse potential pharmacological activities and relevant ecological role as anti-epibiosis. Host-microbe interaction is a driving force for co-evolution in the marine environment, but molecular studies of seaweed-associated microbial communities are still rare. Despite the large amount of research describing the chemical compositions of Laurencia species, the genetic knowledge regarding this genus is currently restricted to taxonomic markers and general genome features. In this work we analyze the transcriptomic profile of L. dendroidea J. Agardh, unveil the genes involved on the biosynthesis of terpenoid compounds in this seaweed and explore the interactions between this host and its associated microbiome.
A total of 6 transcriptomes were obtained from specimens of L. dendroidea sampled in three different coastal locations of the Rio de Janeiro state. Functional annotations revealed predominantly basic cellular metabolic pathways. Bacteria was the dominant active group in the microbiome of L. dendroidea, standing out nitrogen fixing Cyanobacteria and aerobic heterotrophic Proteobacteria. The analysis of the relative contribution of each domain highlighted bacterial features related to glycolysis, lipid and polysaccharide breakdown, and also recognition of seaweed surface and establishment of biofilm. Eukaryotic transcripts, on the other hand, were associated with photosynthesis, synthesis of carbohydrate reserves, and defense mechanisms, including the biosynthesis of terpenoids through the mevalonate-independent pathway.
This work describes the first transcriptomic profile of the red seaweed L. dendroidea, increasing the knowledge about ESTs from the Florideophyceae algal class. Our data suggest an important role for L. dendroidea in the primary production of the holobiont and the role of Bacteria as consumers of organic matter and possibly also as nitrogen source. Furthermore, this seaweed expressed sequences related to terpene biosynthesis, including the complete mevalonate-independent pathway, which offers new possibilities for biotechnological applications using secondary metabolites from L. dendroidea.
Red seaweed; Terpene; Bacteria; Holobiont; Metabolic pathway; EST
A vast amount of data on the natural resistance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to a diverse array of chemicals has been generated over the past decade (chemical genetics). We endeavored to use this data to better characterize the “systems” level properties of this phenomenon. By collating data from over 30 different genome-scale studies on growth of gene deletion mutants in presence of diverse chemicals, we assembled the largest currently available gene-chemical network. We also derived a second gene-gene network that links genes with significantly overlapping chemical-genetic profiles. We analyzed properties of these networks and investigated their significance by overlaying various sources of information, such as presence of TATA boxes in their promoters (which typically correlate with transcriptional noise), association with TFIID or SAGA, and propensity to function as phenotypic capacitors. We further combined these networks with ubiquitin and protein kinase-substrate networks to understand chemical tolerance in the context of major post-translational regulatory processes. Hubs in the gene-chemical network (multidrug resistance genes) are notably enriched for phenotypic capacitors (buffers against phenotypic variation), suggesting the generality of these players in buffering mechanistically unrelated deleterious forces impinging on the cell. More strikingly, analysis of the gene-gene network derived from the gene-chemical network uncovered another set of genes that appear to function in providing chemical tolerance in a cooperative manner. These appear to be enriched in lineage-specific and rapidly diverging members that also show a corresponding tendency for SAGA-dependent regulation, evolutionary divergence and noisy expression patterns. This set represents a previously underappreciated component of the chemical response that enables cells to explore alternative survival strategies. Thus, systems robustness and evolvability are simultaneously active as general forces in tolerating environmental variation. We also recover the actual genes involved in the above-discussed network properties and predict the biochemistry of their products. Certain key components of the ubiquitin system (e.g. Rcy1, Wss1 and Ubp16), peroxisome recycling (e.g. Irs4) and phosphorylation cascades (e.g. NPR1, MCK1 and HOG) are major participants and regulators of chemical resistance. We also show that a major subnetwork boosting mitochondrial protein synthesis is important for exploration of alternative survival strategies under chemical stress. Further, we find evidence that cellular exploration of survival strategies under chemical stress and secondary metabolism draw from a common pool of biochemical players (e.g. acetyltransferases and a novel NTN hydrolase).
In a recent project, we collected the transcriptional profiles of Bacillus subtilis 168 after treatment with a large set of diverse antibacterial agents. One result of the data analysis was the identification of marker genes that are indicative of certain compounds or compound classes. We cloned these promoter regions in front of a luciferase reporter gene and reintroduced the constructs individually into the B. subtilis chromosome. Strains were analyzed for their responsiveness after treatment with a set of 37 antibacterials. Twelve functional reporter strains were generated that were selectively and significantly upregulated by the compounds. The selectivity of the reporter strains ranged from generic pathways like protein biosynthesis, cell wall biosynthesis, and fatty acid biosynthesis to compound classes (quinolones and glycopeptides) and individual compounds (rifampin, cycloserine, and clindamycin). Five of the strains are amenable for high-throughput applications, e.g., pathway-specific screening. In summary, we successfully generated B. subtilis reporter strains that are indicative of the mechanisms of action of various classes of antibacterials. The set of reporter strains presented herein can be used for mode-of-action analyses and for whole-cell screening of compound libraries in a mode-of-action-specific manner.
GR135402, a sordarin derivative, was isolated in an antifungal screening program. GR135402, sordarin, and derivatives of both compounds were evaluated for their ability to inhibit cell-free translational systems from five different pathogenic fungi (Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida krusei, Candida parapsilosis, and Cryptococcus neoformans). The activity profile of GR135402 is extended to other chemical compounds derived from sordarin. Experimental results indicate that sordarin analogs exert their antifungal effects by specifically inhibiting the protein synthesis elongation cycle in yeasts but do not affect protein synthesis machinery in mammalian systems. Intrinsically resistant strains owe their resistance to differences in the molecular target of sordarins in these strains. Preliminary studies performed to elucidate the mode of action of this new class of antifungal agents have shown that the putative target of sordarins is one of the protein synthesis elongation factors.
St. John’s Wort (SJW; Hypericum perforatum L.) is commonly known for its antidepressant properties and was traditionally used to promote wound healing, but its molecular mechanism of action is not known. Here, chemical-genetic profiling in yeast was used to predict the human intracellular targets of an aqueous extract of SJW. SJW source material was authenticated by TLC, digital microscopy, and HPLC, and further characterized by colorimetric methods for antioxidant activity, protein content, and total soluble phenolic content. SJW extract contained 1.76µg/mL hyperforin, 10.14µg/mL hypericin, and 46.05µg/mL pseudohypericin. The effect of SJW extract on ~5900 barcoded heterozygous diploid deletion strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was investigated using high-density oligonucleotide microarrays. Seventy-eight (78) yeast genes were identified as sensitive to SJW and were primarily associated with vesicle-mediated transport and signal transduction pathways. Potential human intracellular targets were identified using sequence-based comparisons and included proteins associated with neurological disease and angiogenesis-related pathways. Selected human targets were confirmed by cell-based immunocytochemical assays. The comprehensive and systematic nature of chemical-genetic profiling in yeast makes this technique attractive for elucidating the potential molecular mechanisms of action of botanical medicines and other bioactive dietary plants.
St. John’s Wort; Hypericum perforatum; botanical; dietary supplement; yeast; microarray; wound healing; depression; alternative medicine
Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) are multi-functional proteins that bind to newly synthesized mRNAs in the nucleus and participate in many subsequent steps of gene expression. A well-studied Saccharomyces cerevisiae hnRNP that has several nuclear functions is Npl3p. Here, we provide evidence that Npl3p also has a cytoplasmic role: it functions in translation termination fidelity. Yeast harboring the npl3-95 mutant allele have impaired ability to translate LacZ, enhanced sensitivity to cycloheximide and paromomycin, and increased ability to readthrough translation termination codons. Most of these defects are enhanced in yeast that also lack Upf1p, a factor crucial for the nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) RNA surveillance pathway that is also known to be involved in translation termination. We show that the npl3-95 mutant allele encodes an Npl3p that forms high molecular-weight complexes that co-fractionate with the poly(A)-binding protein Pab1p. Together, the data suggest that Npl3p plays a role in translation termination in yeast.
A screen for antifungal compounds from Lysobacter enzymogenes strain C3, a bacterial biological control agent of fungal diseases, has previously led to the isolation of heat-stable antifungal factor (HSAF). HSAF exhibits inhibitory activities against a wide range of fungal species and shows a novel mode of antifungal action by disrupting the biosynthesis of a distinct group of sphingolipids. We have now determined the chemical structure of HSAF, which is identical to that of dihydromaltophilin, an antifungal metabolite with a unique macrocyclic lactam system containing a tetramic acid moiety and a 5,5,6-tricyclic skeleton. We have also identified the genetic locus responsible for the biosynthesis of HSAF in strain C3. DNA sequencing of this locus revealed genes for a hybrid polyketide synthase-nonribosomal peptide synthetase (PKS-NRPS), a sterol desaturase, a ferredoxin reductase, and an arginase. The disruption of the PKS-NRPS gene generated C3 mutants that lost the ability to produce HSAF and to inhibit fungal growth, demonstrating a hybrid PKS-NRPS that catalyzed the biosynthesis of the unique macrolactam system that is found in many biologically active natural products isolated from marine organisms. In addition, we have generated mutants with disrupted sterol desaturase, ferredoxin reductase, and arginase and examined the metabolites produced in these mutants. The work represents the first study of the genetic basis for the biosynthesis of the tetramic acid-containing macrolactams. The elucidation of the chemical structure of HSAF and the identification of the genetic locus for its biosynthesis establish the foundation for future exploitation of this group of compounds as new fungicides or antifungal drugs.
Lactobacillus plantarum is a versatile and flexible species that is encountered in a variety of niches and can utilize a broad range of fermentable carbon sources. To assess if this versatility is linked to a variable gene pool, microarrays containing a subset of small genomic fragments of L. plantarum strain WCFS1 were used to perform stringent genotyping of 20 strains of L. plantarum from various sources. The gene categories with the most genes conserved in all strains were those involved in biosynthesis or degradation of structural compounds like proteins, lipids, and DNA. Conversely, genes involved in sugar transport and catabolism were highly variable between strains. Moreover, besides the obvious regions of variance, like prophages, other regions varied between the strains, including regions encoding plantaricin biosynthesis, nonribosomal peptide biosynthesis, and exopolysaccharide biosynthesis. In many cases, these variable regions colocalized with regions of unusual base composition. Two large regions of flexibility were identified between 2.70 and 2.85 and 3.10 and 3.29 Mb of the WCFS1 chromosome, the latter being close to the origin of replication. The majority of genes encoded in these variable regions are involved in sugar metabolism. This functional overrepresentation and the unusual base composition of these regions led to the hypothesis that they represented lifestyle adaptation regions in L. plantarum. The present study consolidates this hypothesis by showing that there is a high degree of gene content variation among L. plantarum strains in genes located in these regions of the WCFS1 genome. Interestingly, based on our genotyping data L. plantarum strains clustered into two clearly distinguishable groups, which coincided with an earlier proposed subdivision of this species based on conventional methods.
A polyolefinic hydrocarbon was found in nonpolar extracts of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 and identified as 3,6,9,12,15,19,22,25,28-hentriacontanonaene (compound I) by mass spectrometry, chemical modification, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Compound I was shown to be the product of a head-to-head fatty acid condensation biosynthetic pathway dependent on genes denoted as ole (for olefin biosynthesis). Four ole genes were present in S. oneidensis MR-1. Deletion of the entire oleABCD gene cluster led to the complete absence of nonpolar extractable products. Deletion of the oleC gene alone generated a strain that lacked compound I but produced a structurally analogous ketone. Complementation of the oleC gene eliminated formation of the ketone and restored the biosynthesis of compound I. A recombinant S. oneidensis strain containing oleA from Stenotrophomonas maltophilia strain R551-3 produced at least 17 related long-chain compounds in addition to compound I, 13 of which were identified as ketones. A potential role for OleA in head-to-head condensation was proposed. It was further proposed that long-chain polyunsaturated compounds aid in adapting cells to a rapid drop in temperature, based on three observations. In S. oneidensis wild-type cells, the cellular concentration of polyunsaturated compounds increased significantly with decreasing growth temperature. Second, the oleABCD deletion strain showed a significantly longer lag phase than the wild-type strain when shifted to a lower temperature. Lastly, compound I has been identified in a significant number of bacteria isolated from cold environments.