Peptide-polyketide antibiotic from the pathogen that causes American Foulbrood
Infections with American foulbrood can destroy entire bee populations. A team of German and Dutch researchers has now isolated metabolic products of the pathogen that causes it, Paenibacillus larvae. The structures of the products have been identified, providing insights into the unusual biosynthetic pathways by which they are made. These new findings could help to clarify the mechanisms of infection and thus to find points of attack for effectively combating bee disease. As the researchers report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, these paenilamicins have antibiotic effects that may also be of use in human medicine.
The honey bee is one of the most important pollinators in our agricultural and subnatural ecosystems. Our supply with fruit, nuts, and vegetables depends significantly on the fact that enough honey bees fly to the flowers of these plants. In recent years, pesticides and other environmental factors have posed massive health threads to bees. Infectious diseases can cause the death of bee populations. The American foulbrood of bees is a frequently encountered notifiable animal disease which causes infected larvae to essentially disintegrate.
Currently, not enough is known about the molecular mechanisms of the infection to effectively combat this disease. A team at the Technical University of Berlin, the Institute for Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, and the University of Leiden (Netherlands) has now gained some new insights: The genome of the pathogen contains genes for an interesting class of natural compounds, peptide-polyketide hybrids with antibacterial and antimycotic effects. The researchers found the special biosynthetic pathways for the formation of these metabolites, which does not use ribosomes, to be fascinating.
The team headed by Roderich Süssmuth and Elke Genersch was able to isolate several of these paenilamicins. They were then able to determine their structures and to characterize their amazing bioactivity: The bacteria release these compounds after they have infected bee larvae in order to keep competitors at bay. Paenibacillus larvae thus effectively kills off the bacterium Paenibacillus alvei in the intestines of the larvae, for example.
The scientists hope that their new insights into the paenilamicins and their biosynthetic pathways will lead to new approaches for combating foulbrood. In addition, the antibiotic effects of these substances could be a starting point for the development of novel human and veterinary pharmaceuticals.
About the Author
Dr Roderich Süssmuth is Professor for Chemical Biology at Technische Universität Berlin. His main specialty is the discovery and biosynthesis investigation of new secondary metabolites from microorganisms and their profiling as antiinfective drugs. He is a Fellow of the Cluster of Excellence “UniCat” coordinated by TU Berlin.
Author: Roderich Süssmuth, Technische Universität Berlin (Germany), http://www.biochemie.tu-berlin.de/
Title: Paenilamicin: Structure and Biosynthesis of a Hybrid Nonribosomal Peptide/Polyketide Antibiotic from the Bee Pathogen Paenibacillus larvae
Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201404572
Roderich Süssmuth | Angewandte Chemie
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine