5 years ago

Directing the Heterologous Production of Specific Cyanobacterial Toxin Variants

Directing the Heterologous Production of Specific Cyanobacterial Toxin Variants
Rocky Chau, Brett A. Neilan, Jason N. Woodhouse, Rabia Mazmouz, Russell Pickford, Sarah E. Ongley, Tianzhe Liu
Microcystins are globally the most commonly occurring freshwater cyanotoxins, causing acute poisoning and chronically inducing hepatocellular carcinoma. However, the detection and toxicological study of microcystins is hampered by the limited availability and high cost of pure toxin standards. Biosynthesis of microcystin variants in a fast-growing heterologous host offers a promising method of achieving reliable and economically viable alternative to isolating toxin from slow-growing cyanobacterial cultures. Here, we report the heterologous expression of recombinant microcystin synthetases in Escherichia coli to produce [d-Asp3]microcystin-LR and microcystin-LR. We assembled a 55 kb hybrid polyketide synthase/nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene cluster from Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806 using Red/ET recombineering and replaced the native promoters with an inducible PtetO promoter to yield microcystin titers superior to M. aeruginosa. The expression platform described herein can be tailored to heterologously produce a wide variety of microcystin variants, and potentially other cyanobacterial natural products of commercial relevance.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acschembio.7b00181

DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.7b00181

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