Towards Biocontained Cell Factories: An Evolutionarily Adapted Escherichia coli Strain Produces a New-to-nature Bioactive Lantibiotic Containing Thienopyrrole-Alanine
Anja Kuthning, Patrick Durkin, Stefan Oehm, Michael G. Hoesl, Nediljko Budisa and Roderich D. Süssmuth – 2016
Genetic code engineering that enables reassignment of genetic codons to non-canonical amino acids (ncAAs) is a powerful strategy for enhancing ribosomally synthesized peptides and proteins with functions not commonly found in Nature. Here we report the expression of a ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptide (RiPP), the 32-mer lantibiotic lichenicidin with a canonical tryptophan (Trp) residue replaced by the ncAA L-β-(thieno[3,2-b]pyrrolyl)alanine ([3,2]Tpa) which does not sustain cell growth in the culture. We have demonstrated that cellular toxicity of [3,2]Tpa for the production of the new-to-nature bioactive congener of lichenicidin in the host Escherichia coli can be alleviated by using an evolutionarily adapted host strain MT21 which not only tolerates [3,2]Tpa but also uses it as a proteome-wide synthetic building block. This work underscores the feasibility of the biocontainment concept and establishes a general framework for design and large scale production of RiPPs with evolutionarily adapted host strains.