Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.103, No.11, 4467-4481, 2019
Engineered biosynthesis of cyclic lipopeptide locillomycins in surrogate host Bacillus velezensis FZB42 and derivative strains enhance antibacterial activity
Locillomycins are cyclic lipononapeptides assembled by a nonlinear hexamodular NRPS and have strong antibacterial activity. In this study, we genetically engineered Bacillus velezensis FZB42 as a surrogate host for the heterologous expression of the loc gene cluster for locillomycins. The fosmid N13 containing whole loc gene cluster was screened from the B. velezensis 916 genomic library. Subsequently, a spectinomycin resistance cassette, and the cassette fused with an IPTG inducible promoter Pspac, was introduced in the fosmid N13 using Red recombination system, respectively. The resulting fosmids, designated N13+Spec and N13+PSSpec, were used for the transformation of B. velezensis FZB42 to obtain derivative strains FZBNPLOC and FZBPSLOC. RT-PCR and qRT-PCR results revealed the efficient heterologous expression of the loc gene cluster in both derivative strains. Particularly, there was positive correlation between the derivative FZBPSLOC strain and the enhanced production of locillomycins upon addition of the inducer IPTG with the highest production of locillomycins at 15-fold more than that of B. velezensis 916. This overproduction of locillomycins was also related to the enhancement of antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and exhibited moderate changes in its hemolytic activity. Together our findings demonstrate that the nonlinear hexamodular NRPS, encoded by the loc gene cluster from B. velezensis 916, is sufficient for the biosynthesis of cyclic lipononapeptide locillomycins in the surrogate host B. velezensis FZB42. Moreover, the FZBPSLOC strain will also be useful for further development of novel locillomycins derivatives with improved antibacterial activity.