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Apicidin F: Characterization and genetic manipulation of a new secondary metabolite gene cluster in the rice pathogen Fusarium fujikuroi.

PLoS ONE 9:e103336 (2014)
Publishers Version DOI PMC
Open Access Gold
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The fungus F. fujikuroi is well known for its production of gibberellins causing the 'bakanae' disease of rice. Besides these plant hormones, it is able to produce other secondary metabolites (SMs), such as pigments and mycotoxins. Genome sequencing revealed altogether 45 potential SM gene clusters, most of which are cryptic and silent. In this study we characterize a new non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene cluster that is responsible for the production of the cyclic tetrapeptide apicidin F (APF). This new SM has structural similarities to the known histone deacetylase inhibitor apicidin. To gain insight into the biosynthetic pathway, most of the 11 cluster genes were deleted, and the mutants were analyzed by HPLC-DAD and HPLC-HRMS for their ability to produce APF or new derivatives. Structure elucidation was carried out be HPLC-HRMS and NMR analysis. We identified two new derivatives of APF named apicidin J and K. Furthermore, we studied the regulation of APF biosynthesis and showed that the cluster genes are expressed under conditions of high nitrogen and acidic pH in a manner dependent on the nitrogen regulator AreB, and the pH regulator PacC. In addition, over-expression of the atypical pathway-specific transcription factor (TF)-encoding gene APF2 led to elevated expression of the cluster genes under inducing and even repressing conditions and to significantly increased product yields. Bioinformatic analyses allowed the identification of a putative Apf2 DNA-binding ("Api-box") motif in the promoters of the APF genes. Point mutations in this sequence motif caused a drastic decrease of APF production indicating that this motif is essential for activating the cluster genes. Finally, we provide a model of the APF biosynthetic pathway based on chemical identification of derivatives in the cultures of deletion mutants.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Keywords Cyclic Peptide Biosynthesis; Spectrum Antiprotozoal Agents; Inhibit Histone Deacetylase; Gibberella-fujikuroi; Cochliobolus-carbonum; Transcription Factor; Ankyrin Repeats; Hc-toxin; Aspergillus-nidulans; Coregulated Genes
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