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1.  A Genomic, Transcriptomic and Proteomic Look at the GE2270 Producer Planobispora rosea, an Uncommon Actinomycete 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0133705.
We report the genome sequence of Planobispora rosea ATCC 53733, a mycelium-forming soil-dweller belonging to one of the lesser studied genera of Actinobacteria and producing the thiopeptide GE2270. The P. rosea genome presents considerable convergence in gene organization and function with other members in the family Streptosporangiaceae, with a significant number (44%) of shared orthologs. Patterns of gene expression in P. rosea cultures during exponential and stationary phase have been analyzed using whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing and by proteome analysis. Among the differentially abundant proteins, those involved in protein metabolism are particularly represented, including the GE2270-insensitive EF-Tu. Two proteins from the pbt cluster, directing GE2270 biosynthesis, slightly increase their abundance values over time. While GE2270 production starts during the exponential phase, most pbt genes, as analyzed by qRT-PCR, are down-regulated. The exception is represented by pbtA, encoding the precursor peptide of the ribosomally synthesized GE2270, whose expression reached the highest level at the entry into stationary phase.
PMCID: PMC4514598  PMID: 26207753
2.  TrpM, a Small Protein Modulating Tryptophan Biosynthesis and Morpho-Physiological Differentiation in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(9):e0163422.
In the model actinomycete Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), small open reading frames encoding proteins with unknown functions were identified in several amino acid biosynthetic gene operons, such as SCO2038 (trpX) in the tryptophan trpCXBA locus. In this study, the role of the corresponding protein in tryptophan biosynthesis was investigated by combining phenotypic and molecular analyses. The 2038KO mutant strain was characterized by delayed growth, smaller aerial hyphae and reduced production of spores and actinorhodin antibiotic, with respect to the WT strain. The capability of this mutant to grow on minimal medium was rescued by tryptophan and tryptophan precursor (serine and/or indole) supplementation on minimal medium and by gene complementation, revealing the essential role of this protein, here named TrpM, as modulator of tryptophan biosynthesis. His-tag pull-down and bacterial adenylate cyclase-based two hybrid assays revealed TrpM interaction with a putative leucyl-aminopeptidase (PepA), highly conserved component among various Streptomyces spp. In silico analyses showed that PepA is involved in the metabolism of serine, glycine and cysteine through a network including GlyA, CysK and CysM enzymes. Proteomic experiments suggested a TrpM-dependent regulation of metabolic pathways and cellular processes that includes enzymes such as GlyA, which is required for the biosynthesis of tryptophan precursors and key proteins participating in the morpho-physiological differentiation program. Altogether, these findings reveal that TrpM controls tryptophan biosynthesis at the level of direct precursor availability and, therefore, it is able to exert a crucial effect on the morpho-physiological differentiation program in S. coelicolor A3(2).
PMCID: PMC5036795  PMID: 27669158
3.  Elucidating the molecular physiology of lantibiotic NAI-107 production in Microbispora ATCC-PTA-5024 
BMC Genomics  2016;17:42.
The filamentous actinomycete Microbispora ATCC-PTA-5024 produces the lantibiotic NAI-107, which is an antibiotic peptide effective against multidrug-resistant Gram-positive bacteria. In actinomycetes, antibiotic production is often associated with a physiological differentiation program controlled by a complex regulatory and metabolic network that may be elucidated by the integration of genomic, proteomic and bioinformatic tools. Accordingly, an extensive evaluation of the proteomic changes associated with NAI-107 production was performed on Microbispora ATCC-PTA-5024 by combining two-dimensional difference in gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry and gene ontology approaches.
Microbispora ATCC-PTA-5024 cultivations in a complex medium were characterized by stages of biomass accumulation (A) followed by biomass yield decline (D). NAI-107 production started at 90 h (A stage), reached a maximum at 140 h (D stage) and decreased thereafter. To reveal patterns of differentially represented proteins associated with NAI-107 production onset and maintenance, differential proteomic analyses were carried-out on biomass samples collected: i) before (66 h) and during (90 h) NAI-107 production at A stage; ii) during three time-points (117, 140, and 162 h) at D stage characterized by different profiles of NAI-107 yield accumulation (117 and 140 h) and decrement (162 h). Regulatory, metabolic and unknown-function proteins, were identified and functionally clustered, revealing that nutritional signals, regulatory cascades and primary metabolism shift-down trigger the accumulation of protein components involved in nitrogen and phosphate metabolism, cell wall biosynthesis/maturation, lipid metabolism, osmotic stress response, multi-drug resistance, and NAI-107 transport. The stimulating role on physiological differentiation of a TetR-like regulator, originally identified in this study, was confirmed by the construction of an over-expressing strain. Finally, the possible role of cellular response to membrane stability alterations and of multi-drug resistance ABC transporters as additional self-resistance mechanisms toward the lantibiotic was confirmed by proteomic and confocal microscopy experiments on a Microbispora ATCC-PTA-5024 lantibiotic-null producer strain which was exposed to an externally-added amount of NAI-107 during growth.
This study provides a net contribution to the elucidation of the regulatory, metabolic and molecular patterns controlling physiological differentiation in Microbispora ATCC-PTA-5024, supporting the relevance of proteomics in revealing protein players of antibiotic biosynthesis in actinomycetes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-016-2369-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4709908  PMID: 26754974
Actinomycetes; Antibiotic production; Differential proteomics; 2D-DIGE and mass spectrometry; Metabolic pathways; Regulatory network; Molecular and cellular functions
4.  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
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

Results 1-5 (5)