[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aromatic polyketides comprise an important class of natural products that possess a wide range of biological activities. The cyclization of the polyketide chain is a critical control point in the biosynthesis of aromatic polyketides. The aromatase/cyclases (ARO/CYCs) are an important component of the type II polyketide synthase (PKS) and help fold the polyketide for regiospecific cyclizations of the first ring and/or aromatization, promoting two commonly observed first-ring cyclization patterns for the bacterial type II PKSs: C7-C12 and C9-C14. We had previously reported the crystal structure and enzymological analyses of the TcmN ARO/CYC, which promotes C9-C14 first-ring cyclization. However, how C7-C12 first-ring cyclization is controlled remains unresolved. In this work, we present the 2.4 Å crystal structure of ZhuI, a C7-C12-specific first-ring ARO/CYC from the type II PKS pathway responsible for the production of the R1128 polyketides. Though ZhuI possesses a helix-grip fold shared by TcmN ARO/CYC, there are substantial differences in overall structure and pocket residue composition that may be important for directing C7-C12 (rather than C9-C14) cyclization. Docking studies and site-directed mutagenesis coupled to an in vitro activity assay demonstrate that ZhuI pocket residues R66, H109, and D146 are important for enzyme function. The ZhuI crystal structure helps visualize the structure and putative dehydratase function of the didomain ARO/CYCs from KR-containing type II PKSs. The sequence-structure-function analysis described for ZhuI elucidates the molecular mechanisms that control C7-C12 first-ring polyketide cyclization and builds a foundation for future endeavors into directing cyclization patterns for engineered biosynthesis of aromatic polyketides.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peptidyl nucleoside antibiotics are a group of natural products targeting MraY, a bacterial translocase involved in the lipid-linked cycle in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. In this Perspective, we explore how Nature builds complex peptidyl nucleoside antibiotics scaffolds from simple nucleoside and amino acid building blocks. We discuss the current stage of research on biosynthetic pathways for peptidyl nucleoside antibiotics, primarily focusing on chemical logic and enzymatic machinery for uridine transformation and coupling to peptides. We further survey the nonribosomal biosynthetic paradigm for a subgroup of uridyl peptide antibiotics represented by pacidamycins, concluded by diversification opportunities for antibiotic optimization.
ACS Chemical Biology 08/2011; 6(10):1000-7. · 5.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pacidamycins are a family of uridyl tetra/pentapeptide antibiotics with antipseudomonal activities through inhibition of the translocase MraY in bacterial cell wall assembly. The biosynthetic gene cluster for pacidamycins has recently been identified through genome mining of the producer Streptomyces coeruleorubidus, and the highly dissociated nonribosomal peptide assembly line for the uridyl tetrapeptide scaffold of pacidamycin has been characterized. In this work a hypothetical protein PacB, conserved in known uridyl peptide antibiotics gene clusters, has been characterized by both genetic deletion and enzymatic analysis of the purified protein. PacB catalyzes the transfer of the alanyl residue from alanyl-tRNA to the N terminus of the tetrapeptide intermediate yielding a pentapeptide on the thio-templated nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) assembly line protein PacH. PacB thus represents a new group of tRNA-dependent peptide bond-forming enzymes in secondary metabolite biosynthesis in addition to the recently identified cyclodipeptide synthases. The characterization of PacB completes the assembly line reconstitution of pacidamycin pentapeptide antibiotic scaffolds, bridging the primary and secondary metabolic pathways by hijacking an aminoacyl-tRNA to the antibiotic biosynthetic pathway.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2011; 108(30):12249-53. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phenylalanine hydroxylase (PheH) is an iron(II)-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the hydroxylation of aromatic amino acid l-phenylalanine (L-Phe) to l-tyrosine (L-Tyr). The enzymatic modification has been demonstrated to be highly regiospecific, forming proteinogenic para-Tyr (p-Tyr) exclusively. Here we biochemically characterized the first example of a phenylalanine 3-hydroxylase (Phe3H) that catalyzes the synthesis of meta-Tyr (m-Tyr) from Phe. Subsequent mutagenesis studies revealed that two residues in the active site of Phe3H (Cys187 and Thr202) contribute to C-3 rather than C-4 hydroxylation of the phenyl ring. This work sets the stage for the mechanistic and structural study of regiospecific control of the substrate hydroxylation by PheH.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A nonribosomal peptide synthetase-like enzyme (NRPS325) from Aspergillus terreus was reconstituted in vitro and was shown to synthesize thiopyrazines using an unprecedented mechanism. Substrate promiscuity of NRPS325 toward different amino acids and free thiols was explored to produce >60 different thiopyrazine compounds.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pacidamycins are a family of uridyl peptide antibiotics that inhibit the translocase MraY, an essential enzyme in bacterial cell wall biosynthesis that to date has not been clinically targeted. The pacidamycin structural skeleton contains a doubly inverted peptidyl chain with a β-peptide and a ureido linkage as well as a 3'-deoxyuridine nucleoside attached to DABA(3) of the peptidyl chain via an enamide linkage. Although the biosynthetic gene cluster for pacidamycins was identified recently, the assembly line of this group of peptidyl nucleoside antibiotics remained poorly understood because of the highly dissociated nature of the encoded nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) domains and modules. This work has identified a minimum set of enzymes needed for generation of the pacidamycin scaffold from amino acid and nucleoside monomers, highlighting a freestanding thiolation (T) domain (PacH) as a key carrier component in the peptidyl chain assembly as well as a freestanding condensation (C) domain (PacI) catalyzing the release of the assembled peptide by a nucleoside moiety. On the basis of the substrate promiscuity of this enzymatic assembly line, several pacidamycin analogues were produced using in vitro total biosynthesis.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 03/2011; 133(14):5240-3. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) assembly lines are major avenues for the biosynthesis of a vast array of peptidyl natural products. Several hundred bacterial NRPS gene clusters contain a small (∼70-residue) protein belonging to the MbtH family for which no function has been defined. Here we show that two strictly conserved Trp residues in MbtH-like proteins contribute to stimulation of amino acid adenylation in some NRPS modules. We also demonstrate that adenylation can be stimulated not only by cognate MbtH-like proteins but also by homologues from disparate natural product pathways.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pacidamycins are a family of uridyl tetra/pentapeptide antibiotics that act on the translocase MraY to block bacterial cell wall assembly. To elucidate the biosynthetic logic of pacidamcyins, a putative gene cluster was identified by 454 shotgun genome sequencing of the producer Streptomyces coeruleorubidus NRRL 18370. The 31-kb gene cluster encodes 22 proteins (PacA-V), including highly dissociated nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) modules and a variety of tailoring enzymes. Gene deletions confirmed that two NRPSs, PacP and PacO, are required for the biosynthesis of pacidamycins. Heterologous expression and in vitro assays of PacL, PacO, and PacP established reversible formation of m-Tyr-AMP, l-Ala-AMP, and diaminopropionyl-AMP, respectively, consistent with the amino acids found in pacidamycin scaffolds. The unusual Ala(4)-Phe(5) dipeptidyl ureido linkage was formed during in vitro assays containing purified PacL, PacJ, PacN, and PacO. Both the genetic and enzymatic studies validate identification of the biosynthetic genes for this subclass of uridyl peptide antibiotics and provide the basis for future mechanistic study of their biosynthesis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2010; 107(39):16828-33. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A number of natural products contain a 2-amino-3-hydroxycyclopent-2-enone five membered ring, termed C(5)N, which is condensed via an amide linkage to a variety of polyketide-derived polyenoic acid scaffolds. Bacterial genome mining indicates three tandem ORFs that may be involved in C(5)N formation and subsequent installation in amide linkages. We show that the protein products of three tandem ORFs (ORF33-35) from the ECO-02301 biosynthetic gene cluster in Streptomyces aizunenesis NRRL-B-11277, when purified from Escherichia coli, demonstrate the requisite enzyme activities for C(5)N formation and amide ligation. First, succinyl-CoA and glycine are condensed to generate 5-aminolevulinate (ALA) by a dedicated PLP-dependent ALA synthase (ORF34). Then ALA is converted to ALA-CoA through an ALA-AMP intermediate by an acyl-CoA ligase (ORF35). ALA-CoA is unstable and has a half-life of approximately 10 min under incubation conditions for off-pathway cyclization to 2,5-piperidinedione. The ALA synthase can compete with the nonenzymatic decomposition route and act in a novel second transformation, cyclizing ALA-CoA to C(5)N. C(5)N is then a substrate for the third enzyme, an ATP-dependent amide synthetase (ORF33). Using octatrienoic acid as a mimic of the C(56) polyenoic acid scaffold of ECO-02301, formation of the octatrienyl-C(5)N product was observed. This three enzyme pathway is likely the general route to the C(5)N ring system in other natural products, including the antibiotic moenomycin.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 05/2010; 132(18):6402-11. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An average cell contains thousands of proteins that participate in normal cellular functions, and most diseases are somehow related to the malfunctioning of one or more of these proteins. Protein therapy, which delivers proteins into the cell to replace the dysfunctional protein, is considered the most direct and safe approach for treating disease. However, the effectiveness of this method has been limited by its low delivery efficiency and poor stability against proteases in the cell, which digest the protein. Here, we show a novel delivery platform based on nanocapsules consisting of a protein core and a thin permeable polymeric shell that can be engineered to either degrade or remain stable at different pHs. Non-degradable capsules show long-term stability, whereas the degradable ones break down their shells, enabling the core protein to be active once inside the cells. Multiple proteins can be delivered to cells with high efficiency while maintaining low toxicity, suggesting potential applications in imaging, therapy and cosmetics fields.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enzymes from natural product biosynthetic pathways are attractive candidates for creating tailored biocatalysts to produce semisynthetic pharmaceutical compounds. LovD is an acyltransferase that converts the inactive monacolin J acid (MJA) into the cholesterol-lowering lovastatin. LovD can also synthesize the blockbuster drug simvastatin using MJA and a synthetic alpha-dimethylbutyryl thioester, albeit with suboptimal properties as a biocatalyst. Here we used directed evolution to improve the properties of LovD toward semisynthesis of simvastatin. Mutants with improved catalytic efficiency, solubility, and thermal stability were obtained, with the best mutant displaying an approximately 11-fold increase in an Escherichia coli-based biocatalytic platform. To understand the structural basis of LovD enzymology, seven X-ray crystal structures were determined, including the parent LovD, an improved mutant G5, and G5 cocrystallized with ligands. Comparisons between the structures reveal that beneficial mutations stabilize the structure of G5 in a more compact conformation that is favorable for catalysis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The double hydroxylation of 6-pretetramid to 4-keto-anhydrotetracycline is a key tailoring reaction during the biosynthesis of the broad-spectrum antibiotic tetracyclines. It has been shown previously by heterologous reconstitution that OxyL is a dioxygenase and is the only enzyme required to catalyze the insertion of oxygen atoms at the C-12a and C-4 positions. We report here that OxyE, a flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent hydroxylase homologue, is an ancillary mono-oxygenase for OxyL during oxytetracycline biosynthesis in Streptomyces rimosus. By using both gene disruption and heterologous reconstitution approaches, we demonstrated that OxyE plays a nonessential, but important role in oxytetracycline biosynthesis by serving as a more efficient C-4 hydroxylase. In addition, we demonstrated that partially oxidized biosynthetic intermediates can undergo various glycosylation modifications in S. rimosus. Our results indicate that the synergistic actions of OxyE and OxyL in the double hydroxylation step prevent accumulation of shunt products during oxytetracycline biosynthesis in S. rimosus.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacterial aromatic polyketides are important therapeutic compounds including front line antibiotics and anticancer drugs. It is one of the last remaining major classes of natural products of which the biosynthesis has not been reconstituted in the genetically superior host Escherichia coli. Here, we demonstrate the engineered biosynthesis of bacterial aromatic polyketides in E. coli by using a dissected and reassembled fungal polyketide synthase (PKS). The minimal PKS of the megasynthase PKS4 from Gibberella fujikuroi was extracted by using two approaches. The first approach yielded a stand-alone Ketosynthase (KS)_malonyl-CoA:ACP transferase (MAT) didomain and an acyl-carrier protein (ACP) domain, whereas the second approach yielded a compact PKS (PKS_WJ) that consists of KS, MAT, and ACP on a single polypeptide. Both minimal PKSs produced nonfungal polyketides cyclized via different regioselectivity, whereas the fungal-specific C2-C7 cyclization mode was not observed. The kinetic properties of the two minimal PKSs were characterized to confirm both PKSs can synthesize polyketides with similar efficiency as the parent PKS4 megasynthase. Both minimal PKSs interacted effectively with exogenous polyketide cyclases as demonstrated by the synthesis of predominantly PK8 3 or NonaSEK4 6 in the presence of a C9-C14 or a C7-C12 cyclase, respectively. When PKS_WJ and downstream tailoring enzymes were expressed in E. coli, the expected nonaketide anthraquinone SEK26 was recovered in good titer. High-cell density fermentation was performed to demonstrate the scale-up potential of the in vivo platform for the biosynthesis of bacterial polyketides. Using engineered fungal PKSs can therefore be a general approach toward the heterologous biosynthesis of bacterial aromatic polyketides in E. coli.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 105(52):20683-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyketides are a class of natural products with highly diverse chemical structures and pharmaceutical activities. Polyketide cyclization, promoted by the aromatase/cyclase (ARO/CYC), helps diversify aromatic polyketides. How the ARO/CYC promotes highly specific cyclization is not well understood because of the lack of a first-ring ARO/CYC structure. The 1.9 A crystal structure of Tcm ARO/CYC reveals that the enzyme belongs to the Bet v1-like superfamily (or STAR domain family) with a helix-grip fold, and contains a highly conserved interior pocket. Docking, mutagenesis, and an in vivo assay show that the size, shape, and composition of the pocket are important to orient and specifically fold the polyketide chain for C9-C14 first-ring and C7-C16 second-ring cyclizations. Two pocket residues, R69 and Y35, were found to be essential for promoting first- and second-ring cyclization specificity. Different pocket residue mutations affected the polyketide product distribution. A mechanism is proposed based on the structure-mutation-docking results. These results strongly suggest that the regiospecific cyclizations of the first two rings and subsequent aromatizations take place in the interior pocket. The chemical insights gleaned from this work pave the foundation toward defining the molecular rules for the ARO/CYC cyclization specificity, whose rational control will be important for future endeavors in the engineered biosynthesis of novel anticancer and antibiotic aromatic polyketides.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2008; 105(14):5349-54. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regiospecific cyclizations of the nascent poly-beta-ketone backbones dictate the structures of polyketide natural products. The fungal iterative megasynthases use terminal thioesterase/claisen cyclase (TE/CLC) domains to direct the fate of the polyketide chains. In this work, we present two strategies toward redirecting the cyclization steps of fungal PKSs using the Gibberella fujikuroi PKS4. First, inactivation or removal of the TE/CLC domain resulted in the synthesis of the new polyketide SMA93 2. Complementation of the mutant PKS4 with a standalone TE/CLC domain restored the regioselective cyclization steps of PKS4 and led to the synthesis of SMA76 1, demonstrating that cyclization enzymes can interact with the megasynthase in trans. This led to the second approach in which various dissociated, bacterial tailoring enzymes were added to the megasynthase in trans. Addition of the act KR led to the synthesis of mutactin 3, while the addition of first ring and second ring cyclases yielded anthraquinone compounds DMAC 5 and SEK26 6. The cooperative activities of fungal and bacterial PKS components are especially important and enable synthesis of polyketides utilizing enzymes from two distinct families of PKSs.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 02/2008; 130(1):38-9. · 10.68 Impact Factor