For more than half a century the pharmaceutical industry has sifted through natural products produced by microbes, uncovering new scaffolds and fashioning them into a broad range of vital drugs. We sought a strategy to reinvigorate the discovery of natural products with distinctive structures using bacterial genome sequencing combined with metabolomics. By correlating genetic content from 178 actinomycete genomes with mass spectrometry-enabled analyses of their exported metabolomes, we paired new secondary metabolites with their biosynthetic gene clusters. We report the use of this new approach to isolate and characterize tambromycin, a new chlorinated natural product, composed of several nonstandard amino acid monomeric units, including a unique pyrrolidine-containing amino acid we name tambroline. Tambromycin shows antiproliferative activity against cancerous human B- and T-cell lines. The discovery of tambromycin via large-scale correlation of gene clusters with metabolites (a.k.a. metabologenomics) illuminates a path for structure-based discovery of natural products at a sharply increased rate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)