Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals

Thomas E. Smith, Christopher D. Pond, Elizabeth Pierce, Zachary P. Harmer, Jason Kwan, Malcolm M. Zachariah, Mary Kay Harper, Thomas P. Wyche, Teatulohi K. Matainaho, Tim S. Bugni, Louis R. Barrows, Chris M. Ireland, Eric W. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 10 Citations

Abstract

Chemistry drives many biological interactions between the microbiota and host animals, yet it is often challenging to identify the chemicals involved. This poses a problem, as such small molecules are excellent sources of potential pharmaceuticals, pretested by nature for animal compatibility. We discovered anti-HIV compounds from small, marine tunicates from the Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea. Tunicates are a reservoir for new bioactive chemicals, yet their small size often impedes identification or even detection of the chemicals within. We solved this problem by combining chemistry, metagenomics, and synthetic biology to directly identify and synthesize the natural products. We show that these anti-HIV compounds, the divamides, are a novel family of lanthipeptides produced by symbiotic bacteria living in the tunicate. Neighboring animal colonies contain structurally related divamides that differ starkly in their biological properties, suggesting a role for biosynthetic plasticity in a native context wherein biological interactions take place.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages179-185
Number of pages7
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Fingerprint

Urochordata
HIV
Synthetic Biology
Papua New Guinea
Metagenomics
Microbiota
Biological Products
Bacteria
Pharmaceutical Preparations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals. / Smith, Thomas E.; Pond, Christopher D.; Pierce, Elizabeth; Harmer, Zachary P.; Kwan, Jason; Zachariah, Malcolm M.; Harper, Mary Kay; Wyche, Thomas P.; Matainaho, Teatulohi K.; Bugni, Tim S.; Barrows, Louis R.; Ireland, Chris M.; Schmidt, Eric W.

In: Nature Chemical Biology, Vol. 14, No. 2, 01.02.2018, p. 179-185.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, TE, Pond, CD, Pierce, E, Harmer, ZP, Kwan, J, Zachariah, MM, Harper, MK, Wyche, TP, Matainaho, TK, Bugni, TS, Barrows, LR, Ireland, CM & Schmidt, EW 2018, 'Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals' Nature Chemical Biology, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 179-185. https://doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.2537
Smith TE, Pond CD, Pierce E, Harmer ZP, Kwan J, Zachariah MM et al. Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals. Nature Chemical Biology. 2018 Feb 1;14(2):179-185. https://doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.2537
Smith, Thomas E. ; Pond, Christopher D. ; Pierce, Elizabeth ; Harmer, Zachary P. ; Kwan, Jason ; Zachariah, Malcolm M. ; Harper, Mary Kay ; Wyche, Thomas P. ; Matainaho, Teatulohi K. ; Bugni, Tim S. ; Barrows, Louis R. ; Ireland, Chris M. ; Schmidt, Eric W. / Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals. In: Nature Chemical Biology. 2018 ; Vol. 14, No. 2. pp. 179-185.
@article{60351db03ad14f2da4af6c4b3c9ed257,
title = "Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals",
abstract = "Chemistry drives many biological interactions between the microbiota and host animals, yet it is often challenging to identify the chemicals involved. This poses a problem, as such small molecules are excellent sources of potential pharmaceuticals, pretested by nature for animal compatibility. We discovered anti-HIV compounds from small, marine tunicates from the Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea. Tunicates are a reservoir for new bioactive chemicals, yet their small size often impedes identification or even detection of the chemicals within. We solved this problem by combining chemistry, metagenomics, and synthetic biology to directly identify and synthesize the natural products. We show that these anti-HIV compounds, the divamides, are a novel family of lanthipeptides produced by symbiotic bacteria living in the tunicate. Neighboring animal colonies contain structurally related divamides that differ starkly in their biological properties, suggesting a role for biosynthetic plasticity in a native context wherein biological interactions take place.",
author = "Smith, {Thomas E.} and Pond, {Christopher D.} and Elizabeth Pierce and Harmer, {Zachary P.} and Jason Kwan and Zachariah, {Malcolm M.} and Harper, {Mary Kay} and Wyche, {Thomas P.} and Matainaho, {Teatulohi K.} and Bugni, {Tim S.} and Barrows, {Louis R.} and Ireland, {Chris M.} and Schmidt, {Eric W.}",
year = "2018",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1038/nchembio.2537",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "14",
pages = "179--185",
journal = "Nature Chemical Biology",
issn = "1552-4450",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Accessing chemical diversity from the uncultivated symbionts of small marine animals

AU - Smith, Thomas E.

AU - Pond, Christopher D.

AU - Pierce, Elizabeth

AU - Harmer, Zachary P.

AU - Kwan, Jason

AU - Zachariah, Malcolm M.

AU - Harper, Mary Kay

AU - Wyche, Thomas P.

AU - Matainaho, Teatulohi K.

AU - Bugni, Tim S.

AU - Barrows, Louis R.

AU - Ireland, Chris M.

AU - Schmidt, Eric W.

PY - 2018/2/1

Y1 - 2018/2/1

N2 - Chemistry drives many biological interactions between the microbiota and host animals, yet it is often challenging to identify the chemicals involved. This poses a problem, as such small molecules are excellent sources of potential pharmaceuticals, pretested by nature for animal compatibility. We discovered anti-HIV compounds from small, marine tunicates from the Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea. Tunicates are a reservoir for new bioactive chemicals, yet their small size often impedes identification or even detection of the chemicals within. We solved this problem by combining chemistry, metagenomics, and synthetic biology to directly identify and synthesize the natural products. We show that these anti-HIV compounds, the divamides, are a novel family of lanthipeptides produced by symbiotic bacteria living in the tunicate. Neighboring animal colonies contain structurally related divamides that differ starkly in their biological properties, suggesting a role for biosynthetic plasticity in a native context wherein biological interactions take place.

AB - Chemistry drives many biological interactions between the microbiota and host animals, yet it is often challenging to identify the chemicals involved. This poses a problem, as such small molecules are excellent sources of potential pharmaceuticals, pretested by nature for animal compatibility. We discovered anti-HIV compounds from small, marine tunicates from the Eastern Fields of Papua New Guinea. Tunicates are a reservoir for new bioactive chemicals, yet their small size often impedes identification or even detection of the chemicals within. We solved this problem by combining chemistry, metagenomics, and synthetic biology to directly identify and synthesize the natural products. We show that these anti-HIV compounds, the divamides, are a novel family of lanthipeptides produced by symbiotic bacteria living in the tunicate. Neighboring animal colonies contain structurally related divamides that differ starkly in their biological properties, suggesting a role for biosynthetic plasticity in a native context wherein biological interactions take place.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85040764392&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85040764392&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/nchembio.2537

DO - 10.1038/nchembio.2537

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 179

EP - 185

JO - Nature Chemical Biology

T2 - Nature Chemical Biology

JF - Nature Chemical Biology

SN - 1552-4450

IS - 2

ER -