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Lectures & Seminars

17.05.2017 19:00 - 20:00 o'clock

MiCoCo: Molecular Tools to Decrypt Fungal Natural Products

Lecturer: Dr. Vito Valiante, Biobricks of Microbial Natural Product Syntheses, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute (HKI) Jena

Filamentous fungi produce an inestimable number of high-value natural products (NPs). NPs are synthetized by metabolic pathways, whose genes are normally clustered in the genome. These clusters usually contain one or several central biosynthetic genes encoding extremely large multidomain proteins belonging to the polyketide synthase and/or non-ribosomal peptide synthetase protein families. These enzymes represent a sort of signature that can be exploited to identify putative gene clusters in every sequenced genome. However, the majority of the computationally identified clusters are not expressed under standard laboratory conditions, requiring molecular engineering to induce the production of unknown NPs. These approaches are aimed at directly targeting regulatory mechanisms at different levels, such as signal transduction pathways, global regulators, cluster-specific transcription factors, or even epigenetic mechanisms.

The heterologous expression of entire biosynthetic clusters can be a feasible solution to decrypt unknown fungal NPs. The multiple expression of eukaryotic genes is normally limited by the presence of regulatory elements (promoters and terminators), and introns; consequently, the expression of clustered genes can happen only when all promoters are activated together. This problem can be avoided by expressing a group of genes as a polycistron under the control of a single inducible promoter. This method was implemented in the last years, obtaining a toolbox to study eukaryotic gene clusters.

Date: May 17, 2017

Time: 7 pm

Location: Lecture Hall Erbertstraße (Großer Hörsaal)

All interested are cordially invited!

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