Many bacteria, such as Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Bacteroidetes, use N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs) as quorum-sensing (QS) signal molecules for communication. Enzymatic degradation of AHLs, such as AHL acylase and AHL lactonase, can degrade AHLs (quorum quenching, QQ) to attenuate or disarm the virulence of pathogens. QQ is confirmed to be common in marine bacterial communities. Many genes encoding AHL acylases are found in marine bacteria and metagenomic collections, but only a few of these have been characterized in detail. We have reported that the marine bacterium Pseudoalteromonas flavipulchra JG1 can degrade AHLs. In the present study, a novel AHL acylase PfmA, which can degrade AHLs with acyl chains longer than 10 carbons, was identified from strain JG1. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) analysis demonstrated that PfmA functions as an AHL acylase, which hydrolysed the amide bond of AHL. The purified PfmA of P. flavipulchra JG1 showed optimum activity at 30 °C and pH 7.0. PfmA belongs to the N-terminal nucleophile (Ntn) hydrolase superfamily and showed homology to a member of penicillin amidases, but PfmA can degrade ampicillin but not penicillin G. The residue Ser256 in PfmA is the active site according to site-directed mutagenesis. Furthermore, PfmA reduced AHL accumulation and the production of virulence factors in Vibrio anguillarum VIB72 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, and attenuated the virulence of P. aeruginosa to increase Artemia survival, which suggested that PfmA can be considered as a therapeutic agent to control AHL-mediated pathogenicity.
Mycobacterium abscessus is a fast-growing environmental organism and an important emerging pathogen. It is highly resistant to many antibiotics and undergoes a smooth to rough colony morphology change that appears to be important for pathogenesis. Smooth environmental strains have a glycopeptidolipid (GPL) on the surface, while certain types of clinical strains are often rough and lack this GPL, due to mutations in biosynthetic genes or the mmpL4b transporter gene. We report here the development and evaluation of an allelic exchange system for unmarked alleles in M. abscessus ATCC19977, using a suicide vector bearing the E. coli galK gene and 2-deoxygalactose counterselection. We describe here two variant galK suicide vectors, and demonstrate their utility in constructing a variety of mutants with deletion alleles of the mmpL4b GPL transporter gene, the mbtH GPL biosynthesis gene, the known β-lactamase gene MAB_2875 and a putative β-lactamase gene, MAB_2833. We also show that a novel allele of the E. coli aacC4 gene, conferring apramycin resistance (aacC41), can be used as a selectable marker in M. abscessus ATCC19977 at single copy.
The antibiotically bioactive thiopeptide compound kocurin was identified in extracts from a newly isolated Kocuria rosea strain. The axenic strain was retrieved from a soil sample of the intertidal area at the Paracas National Park, Peru. The genetic basis of this promising natural product with activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains was revealed by comparative genome analysis of this new isolate and other reported thiopeptide producer strains. The functionality of the predicted gene locus was experimentally proven by heterologous expression in Streptomyces coelicolor M1146. Expression of the gene cluster under the control of a constitutive promoter enabled the transgenic strain to produce kocurin in selected media. The kocurin biosynthetic gene cluster comprises nine open reading frames and spans around 12 kbp of the genome.
MtrAB is a highly conserved two-component system implicated in the regulation of cell division in the Actinobacteria. It coordinates DNA replication with cell division in the unicellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis and links antibiotic production to sporulation in the filamentous Streptomyces venezuelae. Chloramphenicol biosynthesis is directly regulated by MtrA in S. venezuelae and deletion of mtrB constitutively activates MtrA and results in constitutive over-production of chloramphenicol. Here we report that in Streptomyces coelicolor, MtrA binds to sites upstream of developmental genes and the genes encoding ActII-1, ActII-4 and RedZ, which are cluster-situated regulators of the antibiotics actinorhodin (Act) and undecylprodigiosin (Red). Consistent with this, deletion of mtrB switches on the production of Act, Red and streptorubin B, a product of the Red pathway. Thus, we propose that MtrA is a key regulator that links antibiotic production to development and can be used to upregulate antibiotic production in distantly related streptomycetes.