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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 8;107(23):10430-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913677107. Epub 2010 May 17.

Catalytic promiscuity in the biosynthesis of cyclic peptide secondary metabolites in planktonic marine cyanobacteria.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

Abstract

Our understanding of secondary metabolite production in bacteria has been shaped primarily by studies of attached varieties such as symbionts, pathogens, and soil bacteria. Here we show that a strain of the single-celled, planktonic marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus-which conducts a sizable fraction of photosynthesis in the oceans-produces many cyclic, lanthionine-containing peptides (lantipeptides). Remarkably, in Prochlorococcus MIT9313 a single promiscuous enzyme transforms up to 29 different linear ribosomally synthesized peptides into a library of polycyclic, conformationally constrained products with highly diverse ring topologies. Genes encoding this system are found in variable abundances across the oceans-with a hot spot in a Galapagos hypersaline lagoon-suggesting they play a habitat- and/or community-specific role. The extraordinarily efficient pathway for generating structural diversity enables these cyanobacteria to produce as many secondary metabolites as model antibiotic-producing bacteria, but with much smaller genomes.

PMID:
20479271
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2890784
Free PMC Article
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