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1.  Revised Genome Sequence of Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43 with Improved Annotation 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(17):4749-4750.
There is growing interest in discovery of novel bioactive natural products from Burkholderia thailandensis. Here we report a significantly improved genome sequence and reannotation of Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43, which will facilitate the discovery of new natural products through genome mining and studies of the metabolic versatility of this bacterium.
PMCID: PMC3415525  PMID: 22887659
2.  Isolation and characterization of spliceostatin B, a new analogue of FR901464, from Pseudomonas sp. No. 2663 
The Journal of antibiotics  2013;66(9):555-558.
PMCID: PMC4067007  PMID: 23652603
cytotoxicity; FR901464; Pseudomonas sp. No. 2663; spliceostatin B
3.  Genomics-Guided Discovery of Thailanstatins A, B and C as Pre-mRNA Splicing Inhibitors and Antiproliferative Agents from Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43 
Journal of natural products  2013;76(4):685-693.
Mining the genome sequence of Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43 revealed a cryptic biosynthetic gene cluster resembling that of FR901464 (4), a prototype spliceosome inhibitor produced by Pseudomonas sp. No. 2663. Transcriptional analysis revealed a cultivation condition in which a regulatory gene of the cryptic gene cluster is adequately expressed. Consequently, three new compounds, named thailanstatins A (1), B (2) and C (3), were isolated from the fermentation broth of B. thailandensis MSMB43. Thailanstatins are proposed to be biosynthesized by a hybrid polyketide synthase-nonribosomal peptide synthetase pathway. They differ from 4 by lacking an unstable hydroxyl group and by having an extra carboxyl moiety; those differences endow thailanstatins with a significantly greater stability than 4 as tested in phosphate buffer at pH 7.4. In vitro assays showed that thailanstatins inhibit pre-mRNA splicing as potently as 4, with half-maximal inhibitory concentrations in the single to sub µM range. Cell culture assays indicated that thailanstatins also possess potent antiproliferative activities in representative human cancer cell lines, with half-maximal growth inhibitory concentrations in the single nM range. This work provides new chemical entities for research and development, and new structure-activity information for chemical optimization of related spliceosome inhibitors.
PMCID: PMC3696399  PMID: 23517093
Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43; genomics-guided discovery; natural product; pre-mRNA splicing inhibitor; thailanstatin
4.  Inactivation of Cyclic Di-GMP Binding Protein TDE0214 Affects the Motility, Biofilm Formation, and Virulence of Treponema denticola 
Journal of Bacteriology  2013;195(17):3897-3905.
As a ubiquitous second messenger, cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) has been studied in numerous bacteria. The oral spirochete Treponema denticola, a periodontal pathogen associated with human periodontitis, has a complex c-di-GMP signaling network. However, its function remains unexplored. In this report, a PilZ-like c-di-GMP binding protein (TDE0214) was studied to investigate the role of c-di-GMP in the spirochete. TDE0214 harbors a PilZ domain with two signature motifs: RXXXR and DXSXXG. Biochemical studies showed that TDE0214 binds c-di-GMP in a specific manner, with a dissociation constant (Kd) value of 1.73 μM, which is in the low range compared to those of other reported c-di-GMP binding proteins. To reveal the role of c-di-GMP in T. denticola, a TDE0214 deletion mutant (TdΔ214) was constructed and analyzed in detail. First, swim plate and single-cell tracking analyses showed that TdΔ214 had abnormal swimming behaviors: the mutant was less motile and reversed more frequently than the wild type. Second, we found that biofilm formation of TdΔ214 was substantially repressed (∼6.0-fold reduction). Finally, in vivo studies using a mouse skin abscess model revealed that the invasiveness and ability to induce skin abscesses and host humoral immune responses were significantly attenuated in TdΔ214, indicative of the impact that TDE0214 has on the virulence of T. denticola. Collectively, the results reported here indicate that TDE0214 plays important roles in motility, biofilm formation, and virulence of the spirochete. This report also paves a way to further unveil the roles of the c-di-GMP signaling network in the biology and pathogenicity of T. denticola.
PMCID: PMC3754597  PMID: 23794624
5.  Effects of Thailanstatins on Glucocorticoid Response in Trabecular Meshwork and Steroid-Induced Glaucoma 
Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor in glaucoma. Various changes in the trabecular meshwork (TM) are responsible for elevated IOP. Glucocorticoids (GCs) increase IOP and mediate biochemical changes in the TM, similar to those associated with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). There are differences in steroid responsiveness among the population. Approximately 40% of individuals significantly elevate IOP (i.e., responders) upon GC administration, while others do not (i.e., nonresponders). The responders are at higher risk of developing POAG compared to the nonresponders. In addition, almost all POAG patients are steroid responders. GC responsiveness is regulated by the relative levels of the active GC receptor alpha (GRα) and the alternatively spliced dominant negative regulator isoform GRβ. Glaucomatous TM cell strains have a lower GRβ–GRα ratio compared to normal TM cells, making them more sensitive to GCs. Our purpose was to investigate the role of a special class of natural products called thailanstatins (TSTs) in GR alternative splicing and GC response in cultured human TM cells.
Quantitative RT-PCR and Western immunoblotting were used to study the effect of TSTs on GRβ–GRα ratios in human TM cell strains. Effects of TSTs on dexamethasone (DEX) responsiveness were assessed by GRE-luciferase reporter activity assay and fibronectin (FN) induction in TM cells.
TSTs increased the GRβ–GRα ratio in TM cells. Increased GRβ–GRα ratios were associated with decreased DEX-mediated FN induction and GRE-luciferase activity.
TSTs modulate the GR splicing process to enhance GRβ levels and thereby decrease the GC response in cultured human TM cells. These TSTs, or similar compounds, may potentially be new glaucoma therapeutic agents.
New class of spliceosome modulators called thailanstatins (TSTs) affect GR alternative splicing to increase GRβ and decrease GC response in TM cells and may potentially be new glaucoma therapeutic agents.
PMCID: PMC3645369  PMID: 23548621
glucocorticoid receptor; splicing; trabecular meshwork; thailanstatins; glaucoma
6.  Discovery and activity profiling of thailandepsins A through F, potent histone deacetylase inhibitors, from Burkholderia thailandensis E264†‡ 
MedChemComm  2012;3(8):976-981.
Three new bicyclic depsipeptides, which are related to the previously reported thailandepsins A (1), B (2) and C (3), were discovered from the culture broth of Burkholderia thailandensis E264 when supplemented with amino acid precursors, and were subsequently named as thailandepsins D (4), E (5) and F (6), respectively. Enzyme assays showed that 1–6 are potent histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, particularly toward HDAC1 which represents class I human HDACs.
PMCID: PMC3755959  PMID: 23997923
7.  Thailandepsins: Bacterial Products with Potent Histone Deacetylase Inhibitory Activities and Broad-Spectrum Antiproliferative Activities 
Journal of natural products  2011;74(10):2031-2038.
Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have emerged as a new class of anticancer drugs, with one synthetic compound, SAHA (vorinostat, Zolinza®; 1), and one natural product, FK228 (depsipeptide, romidepsin, Istodax®; 2), approved by FDA for clinical use. Our studies of FK228 biosynthesis in Chromobacterium violaceum No. 968 led to the identification of a cryptic biosynthetic gene cluster in the genome of Burkholderia thailandensis E264. Genome mining and genetic manipulation of this gene cluster further led to the discovery of two new products, thailandepsin A (6) and thailandepsin B (7). HDAC inhibition assays showed that thailandepsins have selective inhibition profiles different from that of FK228, with comparable inhibitory activities to those of FK228 toward human HDAC1, HDAC2, HDAC3, HDAC6, HDAC7 and HDAC9, but weaker inhibitory activities than FK228 toward HDAC4 and HDAC8, the later of which could be beneficial. NCI-60 anticancer screening assays showed that thailandepsins possess broad-spectrum antiproliferative activities with GI50 for over 90% of the tested cell lines at low nanomolar concentrations, and potent cytotoxic activities towards certain types of cell lines, particularly for those derived from colon, melanoma, ovarian and renal cancers. Thailandepsins thus represent new naturally produced HDAC inhibitors that are promising for anticancer drug development.
PMCID: PMC3204160  PMID: 21793558
Antiproliferation; Burkholderia thailandensis; genome mining; histone deacetylase inhibitor; thailandepsins
8.  Cyclo­(-l-prolyl-l-valinyl-) from Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43 
The title compound [systematic name: (3S,8aS)-3-isopropyl­hexa­hydro­pyrrolo­[1,2-a]pyrazine-1,4-dione], C10H16N2O2,, is a newly isolated cyclic dipeptide from Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43. There are two independent mol­ecules in the asymmetric unit. Two C atoms and their attached H atoms in the five-membered ring of one of the mol­ecules are disordered over two sets of sites in a 0.715 (5):0.285 (5) ratio. The two independent mol­ecules have the same configuration and the absolute configurations of the chiral centers were determined based on the observation of anomalous dispersion. In the crystal, two types of N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link pairs of independent mol­ecules.
PMCID: PMC3515274  PMID: 23284494
9.  FK228 from Burkholderia thailandensis MSMB43 
FK228 [systematic name: (1S,4S,7Z,10S,16E,21R)-7-ethyl­idene-4,21-di(propan-2-yl)-2-oxa-12,13-dithia-5,8,20,23-tetra­za­­bicyclo[8.7.6]tricos-16-ene-3,6,9,19,22-pentone], C24H36N4O6S2, also known as FR901228, depsipeptide, NSC 630176, romidepsin, and marketed as Istodax by Celgene Corporation, is crystallized from ethyl acetate in P21 as compared to the absolute configuration of FK228, first crystallized from methanol in P212121 [Shigematsu et al. (1994 ▶). J. Anti­biot. 47, 311–314]. A slight difference is observed between the absolute configuration of FK228 and the present structure. The molecular structure is stabilized by intramolecular N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds. In the crystal, molecules are linked via N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds.
PMCID: PMC3435793  PMID: 22969639
10.  Thailandepsins are new small molecule class I HDAC inhibitors with potent cytotoxic activity in ovarian cancer cells: a preclinical study of epigenetic ovarian cancer therapy 
New treatment strategies are emerging to target DNA damage response pathways in ovarian cancer. Our group has previously shown that the class I biased HDAC inhibitor romidepsin (FK228) induces DNA damage response and has potent cytotoxic effects in ovarian cancer cells. Here, we investigated newly discovered HDAC inhibitors, thailandepsin A (TDP-A) and thailandepsin B (TDP-B), to determine the effects on cell viability, apoptosis and DNA damage response in ovarian cancer cells.
FK228, TDP-A and TDP-B were tested in five ovarian cancer cell lines. Cellular viability was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays. Immunofluorescence assays were used to assess activated caspase 3. Western blots were performed to detect protein expression of PARP cleavage, pH2AX, P-glycoprotein and tubulin acetylation.
Treatment with TDPs decreased cell viability at nanonomolar concentrations in four of the five ovarian cancer cell lines studied. Similar to FK228, both TDP compounds exerted minimal effects on NCI/ADR-RES ovarian cancer cells. Across the four cell lines sensitive to the TDPs, TDP-B consistently had a greater inhibitory effect than TDP-A on cell viability. TDP-B also had relatively greater effects on promoting cell apoptosis and induction of pH2AX (a mark of DNA damage response), than TDP-A. These antitumor effects of TDP-B were of similar magnitude to those induced by an equal concentration of FK228. Similar to FK228, the nanomolar concentrations of the TDPs had little effect on tubulin acetylation (a mark of class II HDAC6 inhibition).
The new small molecule HDAC inhibitors TDP-A and TDP-B are FK228 analogues that suppress cell viability and induce apoptosis at nanomolar drug concentrations. TDP-B showed the most similarity to the biological activity of FK228 with greater cytotoxic effects than TDP-A in vitro. Our results indicate that FK228-like small molecule class I HDAC-biased HDAC inhibitors have therapeutic potential for ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC3394212  PMID: 22531354
HDAC inhibitors; Thailandepsins; Romidepsin; Ovarian cancer
11.  Thailandepsin A 
Thailandepsin A [systematic name: (E)-(1S,5S,6R,9S,20R)-6-[(2S)-butan-2-yl]-5-hy­droxy-20-[2-(meth­yl­sulfan­yl)eth­yl]-2-oxa-11,12-dithia-7,19,22-triaza­bicyclo­[7.7.6]docosa-15-ene-3,8,18,21-tetra­one], C23H37N3O6S3, is a newly reported [Wang et al. (2011). J. Nat. Prod. doi:10.1021/np200324x] bicyclic depsipeptide that has potent histone deacetyl­ase inhibitory activity and broad-spectrum anti­proliferative activity. The absolute configuration of thailandepsin A has been determined from the anomalous dispersion and the stereochemistry of all chiral C atoms. Intra­molecular N—H⋯O and N—H⋯S hydrogen bonds occur. Inter­molecular N—H⋯O and O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds are observed in the crystal structure.
PMCID: PMC3247358  PMID: 22219976
12.  Acyldepsipeptide Antibiotics Induces the Formation of a Structured Axial Channel in ClpP: a Model for the ClpX/ClpA Bound State of ClpP 
Chemistry & biology  2010;17(9):959-969.
In ClpXP and ClpAP complexes, ClpA and ClpX use the energy of ATP hydrolysis to unfold proteins and translocate them into the self-compartmentalized ClpP protease. ClpP requires the ATPases to degrade folded or unfolded substrates, but binding of acyldepsipeptide antibiotics (ADEPs) to ClpP bypasses this requirement with unfolded proteins. We present the crystal structure of Escherichia coli ClpP bound to ADEP1 and report the structural changes underlying ClpP activation. ADEP1 binds in the hydrophobic groove that serves as the primary docking site for ClpP ATPases. Binding of ADEP1 locks the N-terminal loops of ClpP in a β-hairpin conformation, generating a stable pore through which extended polypeptides can be threaded. This structure serves as a model for ClpP in the holo-enzyme ClpAP and ClpXP complexes and provides critical information to further develop this class of antibiotics.
PMCID: PMC2955292  PMID: 20851345
ClpP; ADEP; ClpAP; ClpXP; Axial channel; ATP-independent proteolysis
13.  New Insights into the Genetic Organization of the FK228 Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Chromobacterium violaceum No. 968 ▿ †  
The biosynthetic gene cluster of FK228, an FDA-approved anticancer natural product, was identified and sequenced previously. The genetic organization of this gene cluster has now been delineated through systematic gene deletion and transcriptional analysis. As a result, the gene cluster is redefined to contain 12 genes: depA through depJ, depM, and a newly identified pathway regulatory gene, depR.
PMCID: PMC3067218  PMID: 21183645
14.  Reconstitution of the FK228 Biosynthetic Pathway Reveals Cross Talk between Modular Polyketide Synthases and Fatty Acid Synthase▿ †  
Functional cross talk between fatty acid biosynthesis and secondary metabolism has been discovered in several cases in microorganisms; none of them, however, involves a modular biosynthetic enzyme. Previously, we reported a hybrid modular nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS)-polyketide synthase (PKS) pathway for the biosynthesis of FK228 anticancer depsipeptide in Chromobacterium violaceum strain 968. This pathway contains two PKS modules on the DepBC enzymes that lack a functional acyltransferase (AT) domain, and no apparent AT-encoding gene exists within the gene cluster or its vicinity. We report here that, through reconstitution of the FK228 biosynthetic pathway in Escherichia coli cells, two essential genes, fabD1 and fabD2, both encoding a putative malonyl coenzyme A (CoA) acyltransferase component of the fatty acid synthase complex, are positively identified to be involved in FK228 biosynthesis. Either gene product appears sufficient to complement the AT-less PKS modules on DepBC for polyketide chain elongation. Concurrently, a gene (sfp) encoding a putative Sfp-type phosphopantetheinyltransferase was identified to be necessary for FK228 biosynthesis as well. Most interestingly, engineered E. coli strains carrying variable genetic components produced significant levels of FK228 under both aerobic and anaerobic cultivation conditions. Discovery of the trans complementation of modular PKSs by housekeeping ATs reveals natural product biosynthesis diversity. Moreover, demonstration of anaerobic production of FK228 by an engineered facultative bacterial strain validates our effort toward the engineering of novel tumor-targeting bioagents.
PMCID: PMC3067244  PMID: 21183648
15.  Pseudomerohedrally twinned monoclinic structure of unfolded ‘free’ nona­ctin: comparative analysis of its large conformational change upon encapsulation of alkali metal ions 
The title compound, C40H64O12, crystallizes in a pseudo­merohedrally twinned primitive monoclinic cell with similar contributions of the two twin components. There are two symmetry-independent half-mol­ecules of nona­ctin in the asymmetric unit. Each mol­ecule has a pseudo-S 4 symmetry and resides on a crystallographic twofold axis; the axes pass through the mol­ecular center of mass and are perpendicular to the plane of the macrocycle. The literature description of the room-temperature structure of nona­ctin as an order–disorder structure in an ortho­rhom­bic unit cell is corrected. We report a low-temperature high-precision ordered structure of ‘free’ nona­ctin that allowed for the first time precise determination of its bond distances and angles. It possesses an unfolded and more planar geometry than its complexes with encapsulated Na+, K+, Cs+, Ca2+ or NH4 + cations that exhibit more isometric overall conformations.
PMCID: PMC2816929  PMID: 19805886
16.  Novel Features of the Polysaccharide-Digesting Gliding Bacterium Flavobacterium johnsoniae as Revealed by Genome Sequence Analysis▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2009;75(21):6864-6875.
The 6.10-Mb genome sequence of the aerobic chitin-digesting gliding bacterium Flavobacterium johnsoniae (phylum Bacteroidetes) is presented. F. johnsoniae is a model organism for studies of bacteroidete gliding motility, gene regulation, and biochemistry. The mechanism of F. johnsoniae gliding is novel, and genome analysis confirms that it does not involve well-studied motility organelles, such as flagella or type IV pili. The motility machinery is composed of Gld proteins in the cell envelope that are thought to comprise the “motor” and SprB, which is thought to function as a cell surface adhesin that is propelled by the motor. Analysis of the genome identified genes related to sprB that may encode alternative adhesins used for movement over different surfaces. Comparative genome analysis revealed that some of the gld and spr genes are found in nongliding bacteroidetes and may encode components of a novel protein secretion system. F. johnsoniae digests proteins, and 125 predicted peptidases were identified. F. johnsoniae also digests numerous polysaccharides, and 138 glycoside hydrolases, 9 polysaccharide lyases, and 17 carbohydrate esterases were predicted. The unexpected ability of F. johnsoniae to digest hemicelluloses, such as xylans, mannans, and xyloglucans, was predicted based on the genome analysis and confirmed experimentally. Numerous predicted cell surface proteins related to Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron SusC and SusD, which are likely involved in binding of oligosaccharides and transport across the outer membrane, were also identified. Genes required for synthesis of the novel outer membrane flexirubin pigments were identified by a combination of genome analysis and genetic experiments. Genes predicted to encode components of a multienzyme nonribosomal peptide synthetase were identified, as were novel aspects of gene regulation. The availability of techniques for genetic manipulation allows rapid exploration of the features identified for the polysaccharide-digesting gliding bacteroidete F. johnsoniae.
PMCID: PMC2772454  PMID: 19717629
17.  Valinomycin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Streptomyces: Conservation, Ecology and Evolution 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(9):e7194.
Many Streptomyces strains are known to produce valinomycin (VLM) antibiotic and the VLM biosynthetic gene cluster (vlm) has been characterized in two independent isolates. Here we report the phylogenetic relationships of these strains using both parsimony and likelihood methods, and discuss whether the vlm gene cluster shows evidence of horizontal transmission common in natural product biosynthetic genes. Eight Streptomyces strains from around the world were obtained and sequenced for three regions of the two large nonribosomal peptide synthetase genes (vlm1 and vlm2) involved in VLM biosynthesis. The DNA sequences representing the vlm gene cluster are highly conserved among all eight environmental strains. The geographic distribution pattern of these strains and the strict congruence between the trees of the two vlm genes and the housekeeping genes, 16S rDNA and trpB, suggest vertical transmission of the vlm gene cluster in Streptomyces with no evidence of horizontal gene transfer. We also explored the relationship of the sequence of vlm genes to that of the cereulide biosynthetic genes (ces) found in Bacillus cereus and found them highly divergent from each other at DNA level (genetic distance values≥95.6%). It is possible that the vlm gene cluster and the ces gene cluster may share a relatively distant common ancestor but these two gene clusters have since evolved independently.
PMCID: PMC2746310  PMID: 19787052
18.  Polyketide Chain Skipping Mechanism in the Biosynthesis of the Hybrid Nonribosomal Peptide-Polyketide Antitumor Antibiotic Leinamycin in Streptomyces atroolivaceus S-140⊥ 
Journal of natural products  2006;69(3):387-393.
A fundamental feature of modular polyketide synthases (PKSs) is the highly predictable relationship between the domain order and the chemical functional groups of resultant polyketide products. Sequence analysis and biochemical characterization of the leinamycin (LNM) biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces atroolivaceus S-140 has revealed a gene, lnmJ, that encodes five PKS modules but with six acyl carrier protein (ACP) domains. The LnmJ PKS module-6 contains two ACP domains, ACP6-1 and ACP6-2, separated by a C-methyltransferase domain. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments were carried out with each of these ACP’s to test alternative mechanisms proposed for their role in polyketide chain elongation. The in vivo results revealed a new type of polyketide chain “skipping” mechanism, in which either ACP is sufficient for LNM biosynthesis. Biochemical characterization in vitro showed that both ACPs can be loaded with a malonate extender unit by the LnmG acyl transferase; however, ACP6-2 appears to be preferred because the loading efficiency is about 5-fold that of ACP6-1. The results are consistent with ACP6-2 being used for the initial chain elongation step wth ACP6-1 being involved in the ensuing C-methylation process. These findings provide new insights into the polyketide chain skipping mechanism for modular PKSs.
PMCID: PMC2579989  PMID: 16562841
19.  Characterization of a Gene Cluster Responsible for the Biosynthesis of Anticancer Agent FK228 in Chromobacterium violaceum No. 968▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2007;73(11):3460-3469.
A gene cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of anticancer agent FK228 has been identified, cloned, and partially characterized in Chromobacterium violaceum no. 968. First, a genome-scanning approach was applied to identify three distinctive C. violaceum no. 968 genomic DNA clones that code for portions of nonribosomal peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase. Next, a gene replacement system developed originally for Pseudomonas aeruginosa was adapted to inactivate the genomic DNA-associated candidate natural product biosynthetic genes in vivo with high efficiency. Inactivation of a nonribosomal peptide synthetase-encoding gene completely abolished FK228 production in mutant strains. Subsequently, the entire FK228 biosynthetic gene cluster was cloned and sequenced. This gene cluster is predicted to encompass a 36.4-kb DNA region that includes 14 genes. The products of nine biosynthetic genes are proposed to constitute an unusual hybrid nonribosomal peptide synthetase-polyketide synthase-nonribosomal peptide synthetase assembly line including accessory activities for the biosynthesis of FK228. In particular, a putative flavin adenine dinucleotide-dependent pyridine nucleotide-disulfide oxidoreductase is proposed to catalyze disulfide bond formation between two sulfhydryl groups of cysteine residues as the final step in FK228 biosynthesis. Acquisition of the FK228 biosynthetic gene cluster and acclimation of an efficient genetic system should enable genetic engineering of the FK228 biosynthetic pathway in C. violaceum no. 968 for the generation of structural analogs as anticancer drug candidates.
PMCID: PMC1932697  PMID: 17400765
20.  Identification and Localization of the Gene Cluster Encoding Biosynthesis of the Antitumor Macrolactam Leinamycin in Streptomyces atroolivaceus S-140 
Journal of Bacteriology  2002;184(24):7013-7024.
Leinamycin (LNM), produced by Streptomyces atroolivaceus, is a thiazole-containing hybrid peptide-polyketide natural product structurally characterized with an unprecedented 1,3-dioxo-1,2-dithiolane moiety that is spiro-fused to a 18-member macrolactam ring. LNM exhibits a broad spectrum of antimicrobial and antitumor activities, most significantly against tumors that are resistant to clinically important anticancer drugs, resulting from its DNA cleavage activity in the presence of a reducing agent. Using a PCR approach to clone a thiazole-forming nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) as a probe, we localized a 172-kb DNA region from S. atroolivaceus S-140 that harbors the lnm biosynthetic gene cluster. Sequence analysis of 11-kb DNA revealed three genes, lnmG, lnmH, and lnmI, and the deduced product of lnmI is characterized by domains characteristic to both NRPS and polyketide synthase (PKS). The involvement of the cloned gene cluster in LNM biosynthesis was confirmed by disrupting the lnmI gene to generate non-LNM-producing mutants and by characterizing LnmI as a hybrid NRPS-PKS megasynthetase, the NRPS module of which specifies for l-Cys and catalyzes thiazole formation. These results have now set the stage for full investigations of LNM biosynthesis and for generation of novel LNM analogs by combinatorial biosynthesis.
PMCID: PMC135466  PMID: 12446651
21.  Targeted Mutants of Cochliobolus carbonum Lacking the Two Major Extracellular Polygalacturonases 
The filamentous fungus Cochliobolus carbonum produces endo-α1,4-polygalacturonase (endoPG), exo-α1,4-polygalacturonase (exoPG), and pectin methylesterase when grown in culture on pectin. Residual activity in a pgn1 mutant (lacking endoPG) was due to exoPG activity, and the responsible protein has now been purified. After chemical deglycosylation, the molecular mass of the purified protein decreased from greater than 60 to 45 kDa. The gene that encodes exoPG, PGX1, was isolated with PCR primers based on peptide sequences from the protein. The product of PGX1, Pgx1p, has a predicted molecular mass of 48 kDa, 12 potential N-glycosylation sites, and 61% amino acid identity to an exoPG from the saprophytic fungus Aspergillus tubingensis. Strains of C. carbonum mutated in PGX1 were constructed by targeted gene disruption and by gene replacement. Growth of pgx1 mutant strains on pectin was reduced by ca. 20%, and they were still pathogenic on maize. A double pgn1/pgx1 mutant strain was constructed by crossing. The double mutant grew as well as the pgx1 single mutant on pectin and was still pathogenic despite having less than 1% of total wild-type PG activity. Double mutants retained a small amount of PG activity with the same cation-exchange retention time as Pgn1p and also pectin methylesterase and a PG activity associated with the mycelium. Continued growth of the pgn1/pgx1 mutant on pectin could be due to one or more of these residual activities.
PMCID: PMC106176  PMID: 9546185

Results 1-21 (21)