Filipins: the first antifungal “weed killers” identified from bacteria isolated from the trap-ant

Allomerus ants ensure that they have sufficient nitrogen in their diet by trapping and consuming other insects. In order to construct their traps, like the more extensively studied leaf cutter ants, they employ fungal farming. Pest management within these fungal cultures has been speculated to be due to the ants’ usage of actinomycetes capable of producing … Read more

Enzymology: A radical finding

A new family of radical halogenases has been discovered that regio- and stereoselectively chlorinates the unactivated carbon center of indolemonoterpenoid substrates without the prerequisite for the substrate to be bound to a protein carrier. Goss RJM, Grüschow S Nature Chemical Biology 2014, 10, 878

Mechanism of action of the uridyl peptide antibiotics: an unexpected link to a protein–protein interaction site in translocase MraY

The pacidamycin and muraymycin uridyl peptide antibiotics show some structural resemblance to an Arg-Trp-x-x-Trp sequence motif for protein–protein interaction between bacteriophage X174 protein E and E. coli translocase MraY. Members of the UPA class, and a synthetic uridine–peptide analogue, were found to show reduced levels of inhibition to F288L or E287A mutant MraY enzymes, implying that the UPAs … Read more

Access to High Value Natural and Unnatural Products through Hyphenating Chemical Synthesis and Biosynthesis

Access to natural products and their analogues is crucial. Such compounds have, for many years, played a central role in the area of drug discovery as well as in providing tools for chemical biology­. The ability to quickly and inexpensively acquire genome sequences has accelerated the field of natural product research. Access to genomic data … Read more

The First One-Pot Synthesis of l-7-Iodotryptophan from 7-Iodoindole and Serine, and an Improved Synthesis of Other l-7-Halotryptophans

A simple and scalable one-pot biotransformation enables direct access to l-halotryptophans, including l-7-iodotryptophan, from the corresponding haloindoles. The biotransformation utilizes an easy to prepare bacterial cell lysate that may be stored as the lyophilizate for several months and utilized as a catalyst as and when required. Smith, DRM, Willemse T, Gkotsi DS, Schepens W, Maes BU, Ballet … Read more

Natural Products: Discourse, Diversity, and Design

Natural Products: Discourse, Diversity and Design provides an informative and accessible overview of discoveries in the area of natural products in the genomic era, bringing together advances across the kingdoms.  As genomics data makes it increasingly clear that the genomes of microbes and plants contain far more genes for natural product synthesis than had been predicted … Read more

Optimisation of engineered Escherichia coli biofilms for enzymatic biosynthesis of l-halotryptophans

Engineered biofilms comprising a single recombinant species have demonstrated remarkable activity as novel biocatalysts for a range of applications. In this work, we focused on the biotransformation of 5-haloindole into 5-halotryptophan, a pharmaceutical intermediate, using Escherichia coli expressing a recombinant tryptophan synthase enzyme encoded by plasmid pSTB7. To optimise the reaction we compared two E. coli K-12 strains (MC4100 … Read more

Scope and potential of halogenases in biosynthetic applications

Smith DRM; Grüschow S; Goss RJM Curr Opin Chem Biol 2012, 17 (2) 276-283 A large and diverse series of halogenated natural products exist. In many of these compounds the halogen is important to biological activity and bioavailability. We now recognise that nature has developed many different halogenation strategies for which well-known enzyme classes such as haem … Read more

Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of Pac17 from the pacidamycin-biosynthetic cluster of Streptomyces coeruleorubidus

Daniel R. Tromans ; Clare E. M. Stevenson ; Rebecca J. M. Goss ; David M. Lawson Acta Cryst 2012, F68 971-974 Pac17 is an uncharacterized protein from the pacidamycin gene cluster of the soil bacterium Streptomyces coeruleorubidus. It is implicated in the biosynthesis of the core diaminobutyric acid residue of the antibiotic, although its precise role is … Read more