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1.  Inorganic phosphate is a trigger factor for Microbispora sp. ATCC-PTA-5024 growth and NAI-107 production 
Microbial Cell Factories  2014;13(1):133.
NAI-107, produced by the actinomycete Microbispora sp. ATCC-PTA-5024, is a promising lantibiotic active against Gram-positive bacteria and currently in late preclinical-phase. Lantibiotics (lanthionine-containing antibiotics) are ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs), encoded by structural genes as precursor peptides.
The biosynthesis of biologically active compounds is developmentally controlled and it depends upon a variety of environmental stimuli and conditions. Inorganic phosphate (Pi) usually negatively regulates biologically-active molecule production in Actinomycetes, while it has been reported to have a positive control on lantibiotic production in Firmicutes strains. So far, no information is available concerning the Pi effect on lantibiotic biosynthesis in Actinomycetes.
After having developed a suitable defined medium, Pi-limiting conditions were established and confirmed by quantitative analysis of polyphosphate accumulation and of expression of selected Pho regulon genes, involved in the Pi-limitation stress response. Then, the effect of Pi on Microbispora growth and NAI-107 biosynthesis was investigated in a defined medium containing increasing Pi amounts. Altogether, our analyses revealed that phosphate is necessary for growth and positively influences both growth and NAI-107 production up to a concentration of 5 mM. Higher Pi concentrations were not found to further stimulate Microbispora growth and NAI-107 production.
These results, on one hand, enlarge the knowledge on Microbispora physiology, and, on the other one, could be helpful to develop a robust and economically feasible production process of NAI-107 as a drug for human use.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12934-014-0133-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4203916  PMID: 25300322
Ribosomal Post-translationally modified Peptides (RiPPs); Phosphate; PhoP-PhoR; Polyphosphate
2.  Draft Genome Sequence of the Microbispora sp. Strain ATCC-PTA-5024, Producing the Lantibiotic NAI-107 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(1):e01198-13.
We report the draft genome sequence of Microbispora sp. strain ATCC-PTA-5024, a soil isolate that produces NAI-107, a new lantibiotic with the potential to treat life-threatening infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens. The draft genome of strain Microbispora sp. ATCC-PTA-5024 consists of 8,543,819 bp, with a 71.2% G+C content and 7,860 protein-coding genes.
PMCID: PMC3900900  PMID: 24459268
3.  Adaptative biochemical pathways and regulatory networks in Klebsiella oxytoca BAS-10 producing a biotechnologically relevant exopolysaccharide during Fe(III)-citrate fermentation 
A bacterial strain previously isolated from pyrite mine drainage and named BAS-10 was tentatively identified as Klebsiella oxytoca. Unlikely other enterobacteria, BAS-10 is able to grow on Fe(III)-citrate as sole carbon and energy source, yielding acetic acid and CO2 coupled with Fe(III) reduction to Fe(II) and showing unusual physiological characteristics. In fact, under this growth condition, BAS-10 produces an exopolysaccharide (EPS) having a high rhamnose content and metal-binding properties, whose biotechnological applications were proven as very relevant.
Further phylogenetic analysis, based on 16S rDNA sequence, definitively confirmed that BAS-10 belongs to K. oxytoca species. In order to rationalize the biochemical peculiarities of this unusual enterobacteriun, combined 2D-Differential Gel Electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) analysis and mass spectrometry procedures were used to investigate its proteomic changes: i) under aerobic or anaerobic cultivation with Fe(III)-citrate as sole carbon source; ii) under anaerobic cultivations using Na(I)-citrate or Fe(III)-citrate as sole carbon source. Combining data from these differential studies peculiar levels of outer membrane proteins, key regulatory factors of carbon and nitrogen metabolism and enzymes involved in TCA cycle and sugar biosynthesis or required for citrate fermentation and stress response during anaerobic growth on Fe(III)-citrate were revealed. The protein differential regulation seems to ensure efficient cell growth coupled with EPS production by adapting metabolic and biochemical processes in order to face iron toxicity and to optimize energy production.
Differential proteomics provided insights on the molecular mechanisms necessary for anaeorobic utilization of Fe(III)-citrate in a biotechnologically promising enterobacteriun, also revealing genes that can be targeted for the rational design of high-yielding EPS producer strains.
PMCID: PMC3539929  PMID: 23176641
4.  Artificial Chromosomes to Explore and to Exploit Biosynthetic Capabilities of Actinomycetes 
Actinomycetes are an important source of biologically active compounds, like antibiotics, antitumor agents, and immunosuppressors. Genome sequencing is revealing that this class of microorganisms has larger genomes relative to other bacteria and uses a considerable fraction of its coding capacity (5–10%) for the production of mostly cryptic secondary metabolites. To access actinomycetes biosynthetic capabilities or to improve the pharmacokinetic properties and production yields of these chemically complex compounds, genetic manipulation of the producer strains can be performed. Heterologous expression in amenable hosts can be useful to exploit and to explore the genetic potential of actinomycetes and not cultivable but interesting bacteria. Artificial chromosomes that can be stably integrated into the Streptomyces genome were constructed and demonstrated to be effective for transferring entire biosynthetic gene clusters from intractable actinomycetes into more suitable hosts. In this paper, the construction of several shuttle Escherichia coli-Streptomyces artificial chromosomes is discussed together with old and new strategies applied to improve heterologous production of secondary metabolites.
PMCID: PMC3420335  PMID: 22919271
5.  Differential proteomic analysis highlights metabolic strategies associated with balhimycin production in Amycolatopsis balhimycina chemostat cultivations 
Proteomics was recently used to reveal enzymes whose expression is associated with the production of the glycopeptide antibiotic balhimycin in Amycolatopsis balhimycina batch cultivations. Combining chemostat fermentation technology, where cells proliferate with constant parameters in a highly reproducible steady-state, and differential proteomics, the relationships between physiological status and metabolic pathways during antibiotic producing and non-producing conditions could be highlighted.
Two minimal defined media, one with low Pi (0.6 mM; LP) and proficient glucose (12 g/l) concentrations and the other one with high Pi (1.8 mM) and limiting (6 g/l; LG) glucose concentrations, were developed to promote and repress antibiotic production, respectively, in A. balhimycina chemostat cultivations. Applying the same dilution rate (0.03 h-1), both LG and LP chemostat cultivations showed a stable steady-state where biomass production yield coefficients, calculated on glucose consumption, were 0.38 ± 0.02 and 0.33 ± 0.02 g/g (biomass dry weight/glucose), respectively. Notably, balhimycin was detected only in LP, where quantitative RT-PCR revealed upregulation of selected bal genes, devoted to balhimycin biosynthesis, and of phoP, phoR, pstS and phoD, known to be associated to Pi limitation stress response. 2D-Differential Gel Electrophoresis (DIGE) and protein identification, performed by mass spectrometry and computer-assisted 2 D reference-map matching, demonstrated a differential expression for proteins involved in many metabolic pathways or cellular processes, including central carbon and phosphate metabolism. Interestingly, proteins playing a key role in generation of primary metabolism intermediates and cofactors required for balhimycin biosynthesis were upregulated in LP. Finally, a bioinformatic approach showed PHO box-like regulatory elements in the upstream regions of nine differentially expressed genes, among which two were tested by electrophoresis mobility shift assays (EMSA).
In the two chemostat conditions, used to generate biomass for proteomic analysis, mycelia grew with the same rate and with similar glucose-biomass conversion efficiencies. Global gene expression analysis revealed a differential metabolic adaptation, highlighting strategies for energetic supply and biosynthesis of metabolic intermediates required for biomass production and, in LP, for balhimycin biosynthesis. These data, confirming a relationship between primary metabolism and antibiotic production, could be used to increase antibiotic yield both by rational genetic engineering and fermentation processes improvement.
PMCID: PMC3004843  PMID: 21110849
6.  Red blood cell glutathione peroxidase activity in female nulligravid and pregnant rats 
The alterations of the glutathione peroxidase enzyme complex system occur in physiological conditions such as aging and oxidative stress consequent to strenuous exercise.
Authors optimize the spectrophotometric method to measure glutathione peroxidase activity in rat red blood cell membranes.
The optimization, when applied to age paired rats, both nulligravid and pregnant, shows that pregnancy induces, at seventeen d of pregnancy, an increase of both reactive oxygen substance concentration in red blood cells and membrane glutathione peroxidase activity.
The glutathione peroxidase increase in erythrocyte membranes is induced by systemic oxidative stress long lasting rat pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC2657797  PMID: 19171040

Results 1-6 (6)