Filamentous fungi are prolific producers of secondary metabolites with drug-like properties, and their genome sequences have revealed an untapped wealth of potential therapeutic leads. To better access these secondary metabolites and characterize their biosynthetic gene clusters, we applied a new platform for screening and heterologous expression of intact gene clusters that uses fungal artificial chromosomes and metabolomic scoring (FAC-MS). We leverage FAC-MS technology to identify the biosynthetic machinery responsible for production of acu-dioxomorpholine, a metabolite produced by the fungus, Aspergilllus aculeatus. The acu-dioxomorpholine nonribosomal peptide synthetase features a new type of condensation domain (designated CR) proposed to use a noncanonical arginine active site for ester bond formation. Using stable isotope labeling and MS, we determine that a phenyllactate monomer deriving from phenylalanine is incorporated into the diketomorpholine scaffold. Acu-dioxomorpholine is highly related to orphan inhibitors of P-glycoprotein targets in multidrug-resistant cancers, and identification of the biosynthetic pathway for this compound class enables genome mining for additional derivatives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine