1. O-Succinyl-L-homoserine-based C4-chemical production: succinic acid, homoserine lactone, γ-butyrolactone, γ-butyrolactone derivatives, and 1,4-butanediol
Kuk-Ki Hong, et al. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2014 Oct;41(10):1517-24. doi: 10.1007/s10295-014-1499-z. Epub 2014 Aug 26.
There has been a significant global interest to produce bulk chemicals from renewable resources using engineered microorganisms. Large research programs have been launched by academia and industry towards this goal. Particularly, C4 chemicals such as succinic acid (SA) and 1,4-butanediol have been leading the path towards the commercialization of biobased technology with the effort of replacing chemical production. Here we present O-Succinyl-L-homoserine (SH) as a new, potentially important platform biochemical and demonstrate its central role as an intermediate in the production of SA, homoserine lactone (HSL), γ-butyrolactone (GBL) and its derivatives, and 1,4-butanediol (BDO). This technology encompasses (1) the genetic manipulation of Escherichia coli to produce SH with high productivity, (2) hydrolysis into SA and homoserine (HS) or homoserine lactone hydrochloride, and (3) chemical conversion of either HS or homoserine lactone HCL (HSL·HCl) into drop-in chemicals in polymer industry. This production strategy with environmental benefits is discussed in the perspective of targeting of fermented product and a process direction compared to petroleum-based chemical conversion, which may reduce the overall manufacturing cost.
2. Indole-based novel small molecules for the modulation of bacterial signalling pathways
Nripendra Nath Biswas, Samuel K Kutty, Nicolas Barraud, George M Iskander, Renate Griffith, Scott A Rice, Mark Willcox, David StC Black, Naresh Kumar Org Biomol Chem. 2015 Jan 21;13(3):925-37. doi: 10.1039/c4ob02096k.
Gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa use N-acylated L-homoserine lactones (AHLs) as autoinducers (AIs) for quorum sensing (QS), a major regulatory and cell-to-cell communication system for social adaptation, virulence factor production, biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance. Some bacteria use indole moieties for intercellular signaling and as regulators of various bacterial phenotypes important for evading the innate host immune response and antimicrobial resistance. A range of natural and synthetic indole derivatives have been found to act as inhibitors of QS-dependent bacterial phenotypes, complementing the bactericidal ability of traditional antibiotics. In this work, various indole-based AHL mimics were designed and synthesized via the 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC·HCl) and N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC) mediated coupling reactions of a variety of substituted or unsubstituted aminoindoles with different alkanoic acids. All synthesized compounds were tested for QS inhibition using a P. aeruginosa QS reporter strain by measuring the amount of green fluorescent protein (GFP) production. Docking studies were performed to examine their potential to bind and therefore inhibit the target QS receptor protein. The most potent compounds 11a, 11d and 16a showed 44 to 65% inhibition of QS activity at 250 μM concentration, and represent promising drug leads for the further development of anti-QS antimicrobial compounds.