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The growing threat of antibiotic resistance necessitates the discovery of antibiotics that are active against resistant pathogens. Calcium-dependent antibiotics are a small family of structurally diverse acidic lipopeptides assembled by non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) that are known to display various modes of action against antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Here we use NRPS adenylation (AD) domain sequencing to guide the identification, recovery and cloning of the cde biosynthetic gene cluster from a soil metagenome. Heterologous expression of the cde biosynthetic gene cluster led to the production of cadasides A (1) and B (2), a sub-family of acidic lipopeptides that is distinct from previously characterized calcium-dependent antibiotics in terms of both overall structure and acidic residue rich peptide core. The cadasides inhibit the growth of multidrug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens by disrupting cell wall biosynthesis in the presence of high concentrations of calcium. Interestingly, sequencing of AD domains from diverse soils found that sequences predicted to arise from cadaside-like gene clusters are predominantly found in soils containing high levels of calcium carbonate.
PMID: 30735616 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]