Haft D, Basu M, Mitchell D.. Expansion of ribosomally produced natural products: a nitrile hydratase- and Nif11-related precursor family. BMC Biol 8: 70

The J Craig Venter Institute, 9704 Medical Center Drive, Rockville, MD 20850, USA.
BMC Biology (Impact Factor: 7.98). 05/2010; 8(1):70. DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-8-70
Source: PubMed


A new family of natural products has been described in which cysteine, serine and threonine from ribosomally-produced peptides are converted to thiazoles, oxazoles and methyloxazoles, respectively. These metabolites and their biosynthetic gene clusters are now referred to as thiazole/oxazole-modified microcins (TOMM). As exemplified by microcin B17 and streptolysin S, TOMM precursors contain an N-terminal leader sequence and C-terminal core peptide. The leader sequence contains binding sites for the posttranslational modifying enzymes which subsequently act upon the core peptide. TOMM peptides are small and highly variable, frequently missed by gene-finders and occasionally situated far from the thiazole/oxazole forming genes. Thus, locating a substrate for a particular TOMM pathway can be a challenging endeavor.
Examination of candidate TOMM precursors has revealed a subclass with an uncharacteristically long leader sequence closely related to the enzyme nitrile hydratase. Members of this nitrile hydratase leader peptide (NHLP) family lack the metal-binding residues required for catalysis. Instead, NHLP sequences display the classic Gly-Gly cleavage motif and have C-terminal regions rich in heterocyclizable residues. The NHLP family exhibits a correlated species distribution and local clustering with an ABC transport system. This study also provides evidence that a separate family, annotated as Nif11 nitrogen-fixing proteins, can serve as natural product precursors (N11P), but not always of the TOMM variety. Indeed, a number of cyanobacterial genomes show extensive N11P paralogous expansion, such as Nostoc, Prochlorococcus and Cyanothece, which replace the TOMM cluster with lanthionine biosynthetic machinery.
This study has united numerous TOMM gene clusters with their cognate substrates. These results suggest that two large protein families, the nitrile hydratases and Nif11, have been retailored for secondary metabolism. Precursors for TOMMs and lanthionine-containing peptides derived from larger proteins to which other functions are attributed, may be widespread. The functions of these natural products have yet to be elucidated, but it is probable that some will display valuable industrial or medical activities.

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    • "All proteins with 100 % identity were removed and are represented as larger nodes on the network (size is dependent on the number of redundant proteins). Groups are number for reference within the manuscript from this bioinformatics study although several have been identified previously [32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are a burgeoning class of natural products with diverse activity that share a similar origin and common features in their biosynthetic pathways. The precursor peptides of these natural products are ribosomally produced, upon which a combination of modification enzymes installs diverse functional groups. This genetically encoded peptide-based strategy allows for rapid diversification of these natural products by mutation in the precursor genes merged with unique combinations of modification enzymes. Thiazole/oxazole-modified microcins (TOMMs) are a class of RiPPs defined by the presence of heterocycles derived from cysteine, serine, and threonine residues in the precursor peptide. TOMMs encompass a number of different families, including but not limited to the linear azol(in)e-containing peptides (streptolysin S, microcin B17, and plantazolicin), cyanobactins, thiopeptides, and bottromycins. Although many TOMMs have been explored, the increased availability of genome sequences has illuminated several unexplored TOMM producers. All YcaO domain-containing proteins (D protein) and the surrounding genomic regions were were obtained from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI). MultiGeneBlast was used to group gene clusters contain a D protein. A number of techniques were used to identify TOMM biosynthetic gene clusters from the D protein containing gene clusters. Precursor peptides from these gene clusters were also identified. Both sequence similarity and phylogenetic analysis were used to classify the 20 diverse TOMM clusters identified. Given the remarkable structural and functional diversity displayed by known TOMMs, a comprehensive bioinformatic study to catalog and classify the entire RiPP class was undertaken. Here we report the bioinformatic characterization of nearly 1,500 TOMM gene clusters from genomes in the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) sequence repository. Genome mining suggests a complex diversification of modification enzymes and precursor peptides to create more than 20 distinct families of TOMMs, nine of which have not heretofore been described. Many of the identified TOMM families have an abundance of diverse precursor peptide sequences as well as unfamiliar combinations of modification enzymes, signifying a potential wealth of novel natural products on known and unknown biosynthetic scaffolds. Phylogenetic analysis suggests a widespread distribution of TOMMs across multiple phyla; however, producers of similar TOMMs are generally found in the same phylum with few exceptions. The comprehensive genome mining study described herein has uncovered a myriad of unique TOMM biosynthetic clusters and provides an atlas to guide future discovery efforts. These biosynthetic gene clusters are predicted to produce diverse final products, and the identification of additional combinations of modification enzymes could expand the potential of combinatorial natural product biosynthesis.
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    • "Interestingly, additional enzymes, such as a HPr kinase and a sulfotransferase , were also identified in some gene clusters. The role that these proteins play in the modification of the precursor peptides is currently unclear, although they may be involved in previously unidentified lasso peptide modifica- tions [55]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are a diverse group of biologically active bacterial molecules. Due to the conserved genomic arrangement of many of the genes involved in their synthesis, these secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways can be predicted from genome sequence data. To date, however, despite the myriad of sequenced genomes covering many branches of the bacterial phylogenetic tree, such an analysis for a broader group of bacteria like anaerobes has not been attempted. We investigated a collection of 211 complete and published genomes, focusing on anaerobic bacteria, whose potential to encode RiPPs is relatively unknown. We showed that the presence of RiPP-genes is widespread among anaerobic representatives of the phyla Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria and Firmicutes and that, collectively, anaerobes possess the ability to synthesize a broad variety of different RiPP classes. More than 25% of anaerobes are capable of producing RiPPs either alone or in conjunction with other secondary metabolites, such as polyketides or non-ribosomal peptides. Amongst the analyzed genomes, several gene clusters encode uncharacterized RiPPs, whilst others show similarity with known RiPPs. These include a number of potential class II lanthipeptides; head-to-tail cyclized peptides and lactococcin 972-like RiPP. This study presents further evidence in support of anaerobic bacteria as an untapped natural products reservoir.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · BMC Genomics
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    • "AtrA itself is pleiotropic in function , activating , for example , expression of nagE2 , encoding the GlcNAc permease ( which is repressed by DasR ) ( Nothaft et al . , 2010 ) . AtrA also acts on genes involved in metabolism of acetyl coenzyme A , a critical precursor of Act biosynthesis . Another activator of actII - ORF4 is a response regulator AbrC3 that functions in a medium - dependent manner ( Yepes , Rico , Rodriguez - Garcia , Santamaria , & Diaz , 2011 ) . It is part of an atypical two - component "
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    ABSTRACT: The actinomycetes are well-known bioactive natural product producers, comprising the Streptomycetes, the richest drug-prolific family in all kingdoms, producing therapeutic compounds for the areas of infection, cancer, circulation, and immunity. Completion and annotation of many actinomycete genomes has highlighted further how proficient these bacteria are in specialized metabolism, which have been largely underexploited in traditional screening programs. The genome sequence of the model strain Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), and subsequent development of genomics-driven approaches to understand its large specialized metabolome, has been key in unlocking the high potential of specialized metabolites for natural product genomics-based drug discovery. This review discusses systematically the biochemistry and genetics of each of the specialized metabolites of S. coelicolor and describes metabolite transport processes for excretion and complex regulatory patterns controlling biosynthesis.
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