Browsing by Subject "SECONDARY METABOLISM"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-3 of 3
  • Fewer, David P.; Metsä-Ketelä, Mikko (2020)
    Abstract Microbes are talented chemists with the ability to generate tremendously complex and diverse natural products which harbor potent biological activities. Natural products are produced using sets of specialized biosynthetic enzymes encoded by secondary metabolism pathways. Here, we present a two-step evolutionary model to explain the diversification of biosynthetic pathways that account for the proliferation of these molecules. We argue that the appearance of natural product families has been a slow and infrequent process. The first step led to the original emergence of bioactive molecules and different classes of natural products. However, much of the chemical diversity observed today has resulted from the endless modification of the ancestral biosynthetic pathways. The second step rapidly modulates the pre-existing biological activities to increase their potency and to adapt to changing environmental conditions. We highlight the importance of enzyme promiscuity in this process, as it facilitates both the incorporation of horizontally transferred genes into secondary metabolic pathways and the functional differentiation of proteins to catalyze novel chemistry. We provide examples where single point mutations or recombination events have been sufficient for new enzymatic activities to emerge. A unique feature in the evolution of microbial secondary metabolism is that gene duplication is not essential but offers opportunities to synthesize more complex metabolites. Microbial natural products are highly important for the pharmaceutical industry due to their unique bioactivities. Therefore, understanding the natural mechanisms leading to the formation of diverse metabolic pathways is vital for future attempts to utilize synthetic biology for the generation of novel molecules.
  • Zeng, Zhen; Wu, Jiayao; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Raffaello, Tommaso; Wen, Zilan; Liu, Mengxia; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2019)
    Heterobasidion parviporum is the most devastating fungal pathogen of conifer forests in Northern Europe. The fungus has dual life strategies, necrotrophy on living trees and saprotrophy on dead woods. DNA cytosine methylation is an important epigenetic modification in eukaryotic organisms. Our presumption is that the lifestyle transition and asexual development in H. parviporum could be driven by epigenetic effects. Involvements of DNA methylation in the regulation of aforementioned processes have never been studied thus far. RNA-seq identified lists of highly induced genes enriched in carbohydrate-active enzymes during necrotrophic interaction with host trees and saprotrophic sawdust growth. It also highlighted signaling- and transcription factor-related genes potentially associated with the transition of saprotrophic to necrotrophic lifestyle and groups of primary cellular activities throughout asexual development. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing revealed that DNA methylation displayed pronounced preference in CpG dinucleotide context across the genome and mostly targeted transposable element (TE)-rich regions. TE methylation level demonstrated a strong negative correlation with TE expression, reinforcing the protective function of DNA methylation in fungal genome stability. Small groups of genes putatively subject to methylation transcriptional regulation in response to saprotrophic and necrotrophic growth in comparison with free-living mycelia were also explored. Our study reported on the first methylome map of a forest pathogen. Analysis of transcriptome and methylome variations associated with asexual development and different lifestyle strategies provided further understanding of basic biological processes in H. parviporum. More importantly, our work raised additional potential roles of DNA methylation in fungi apart from controlling the proliferation of TEs.
  • Bromann, K.; Viljanen, K.; Moreira, V. M.; Yli-Kauhaluoma, J.; Ruohonen, L.; Nakari-Setälä, T. (2014)