2017-04-10Here we report an efficient CRISPR–Cas9 knock-in strategy to activate silent biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) in streptomycetes. We applied this one-step strategy to activate multiple BGCs of different classes in five Streptomyces species and triggered the production of unique metabolites, including a novel pentangular type II polyketide in Streptomyces viridochromogenes. This potentially scalable strategy complements existing activation approaches and facilitates discovery efforts to uncover new compounds with interesting bioactivities.
2017-03-27O-GlcNAc hydrolase (OGA) catalyzes removal of βα-linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamine from serine and threonine residues. We report crystal structures of Homo sapiens OGA catalytic domain in apo and inhibited states, revealing a flexible dimer that displays three unique conformations and is characterized by subdomain α-helix swapping. These results identify new structural features of the substrate-binding groove adjacent to the catalytic site and open new opportunities for structural, mechanistic and drug discovery activities.
2017-03-27O-GlcNAc hydrolase (OGA) removes O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) from a myriad of nucleocytoplasmic proteins. Through co-expression and assembly of OGA fragments, we determined the three-dimensional structure of human OGA, revealing an unusual helix-exchanged dimer that lays a structural foundation for an improved understanding of substrate recognition and regulation of OGA. Structures of OGA in complex with a series of inhibitors define a precise blueprint for the design of inhibitors that have clinical value.
2017-03-13The formation of C–C bonds in an enantioselective fashion to create complex polycyclic scaffolds in the hapalindole- and fischerindole- type alkaloids from Stigonematales cyanobacteria represents a compelling and urgent challenge in adapting microbial biosynthesis as a catalytic platform in drug development. Here we determine the biochemical basis for tri- and tetracyclic core formation in these secondary metabolites, involving a new class of cyclases that catalyze a complex cyclization cascade.
2017-02-28Here we report a fully automated, flow-based approach to solid-phase polypeptide synthesis, with amide bond formation in 7 seconds and total synthesis times of 40 seconds per amino acid residue. Crude peptide purities and isolated yields were comparable to those for standard-batch solid-phase peptide synthesis. At full capacity, this approach can yield tens of thousands of individual 30-mer peptides per year.