The viscosin group covers a series of cyclic lipodepsipeptides (CLPs) produced by Pseudomonas bacteria, with a range of biological functions and antimicrobial activities. Their oligopeptide moieties are composed of both L- and D-amino acids. Remarkably, the Leu5 amino acid-centrally located in the nonapeptide sequence-is the sole residue found to possess either an L or D configuration, depending on the producing strain. The impact of this D/L switch on the solution conformation was investigated by NMR-restrained molecular modelling of the epimers pseudodesmin A and viscosinamide A. Although the backbone fold remained unaffected, the D/L switch adjusted the segregation between hydrophobic and hydrophilic residues, and thus the amphipathicity. It also influenced the self-assembly capacity in organic solvents. Additionally, several new minor variants of viscosinamide A from Pseudomonas fluorescens DR54 were identified, and an NMR assay is proposed to assess the presence of either an L- or D-Leu5.
A rapid and efficient total synthesis is reported for the cyclic lipodepsipeptide pseudodesmin?A. This member of the Pseudomonas viscosin group is active against Gram-positive bacteria and features self-assembling properties. A conserved serine residue within the lactone macrocycle is exploited for initial immobilization on 2-chlorotrityl chloride resin through ether formation with the side-chain alcohol. Subsequent elongation proceeds through Fmoc solid-phase peptide synthesis, including automated incorporation of the enantioselectively synthesized (R)-3-hydroxydecanoic acid lipid tail. Following esterification to generate the incipient lactone bond, the macrocycle is formed by on-resin head-to-tail macrolactamization and cleaved from the resin to give the desired compound in good purity. The short and efficient synthesis route allows rapid generation of analogues by facile variation of both the peptide and lipid moieties with good control of epimerization while maximizing automation. Synthesis of the pseudodesmin?A enantiomer yields identical self-assembly and biological activity to that observed for the natural compound, showing that activity is not mediated by chiral interactions. A D-Asn8 analogue developed en route retains self-assembly, but loses activity. The synthesis strategy should be generally applicable for the rapid generation of analogues from various cyclic lipodepsipeptide groups, allowing an investigation of their self-assembling properties and structure-activity relationships.
Two Pseudomonas strains, identified as closely related to Pseudomonas tolaasii, were isolated from milk of a farm with frequent false-positive Delvotest results for screening putative antibiotic residues in raw milk executed as part of the regulatory quality programme. Growth at 5 to 7°C of these isolates in milk resulted in high lipolysis and the production of bacterial inhibitors. The two main bacterial inhibitors have a molecular weight of 1168.7 and 1140.7 Da respectively, are heat-tolerant and inhibit Geobacillus stearothermophilus var. calidolactis, the test strain of most of the commercially available microbiological inhibitor tests for screening of antibiotic residues in milk. Furthermore, these bacterial inhibitors show antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and B. subtilis and also interfere negatively with yoghurt production. Following their isolation and purification with RP-HPLC, the inhibitors were identified by NMR analysis as cyclic lipodepsipeptides of the viscosin group. Our findings bring to light a new challenge for quality control in the dairy industry. By prolonging the refrigerated storage of raw milk, the keeping quality of milk is influenced by growth and metabolic activities of psychrotrophic bacteria such as pseudomonads. Besides an increased risk of possible spoilage of long shelf-life milk, the production at low temperature of natural bacterial inhibitors may also result in false-positive results for antibiotic residue screening tests based on microbial inhibitor assays thus leading to undue production loss.
The rhizosphere isolate Pseudomonas putida BW11M1 produces a mixture of cyclic lipopeptide congeners, designated xantholysins. Properties of the major compound xantholysin A, shared with several other Pseudomonas lipopeptides, include antifungal activity and toxicity to Gram-positive bacteria, a supportive role in biofilm formation, and facilitation of surface colonization through swarming. Atypical is the lipopeptides capacity to inhibit some Gram-negative bacteria, including several xanthomonads. The lipotetradecadepsipeptides are assembled by XtlA, XtlB and XtlC, three co-linearly operating non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) displaying similarity in modular architecture with the entolysin-producing enzymes of the entomopathogenic Pseudomonas entomophila L48. A shifted serine-incorporating unit in the eight-module enzyme XtlB elongating the central peptide moiety not only generates an amino acid sequence differing at several equivalent positions from entolysin, but also directs xantholysins macrocyclization into an octacyclic structure, distinct from the pentacyclic closure in entolysin. Relaxed fatty acid specificity during lipoinitiation by XtlA (acylation with 3-hydroxydodec-5-enoate instead of 3-hydroxydecanoate) and for incorporation of the ultimate amino acid by XtlC (valine instead of isoleucine) account for the production of the minor structural variants xantholysin C and B, respectively. Remarkably, the genetic backbones of the xantholysin and entolysin NRPS systems also bear pronounced phylogenetic similarity to those of the P. putida strains PCL1445 and RW10S2, albeit generating the seemingly structurally unrelated cyclic lipopeptides putisolvin (undecapeptide containing a cyclotetrapeptide) and WLIP (nonapeptide containing a cycloheptapeptide), respectively. This similarity includes the linked genes encoding the cognate LuxR-family regulator and tripartite export system components in addition to individual modules of the NRPS enzymes, and probably reflects a common evolutionary origin. Phylogenetic scrutiny of the modules used for selective amino acid activation by these synthetases indicates that bacteria such as pseudomonads recruit and reshuffle individual biosynthetic units and blocks thereof to engineer reorganized or novel NRPS assembly lines for diversified synthesis of lipopeptides.
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