Mammalian microbiomes encode thousands of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) and represent a new frontier in natural product research. We recently found an abundance of quorum sensing-regulated BGCs in mammalian microbiome streptococci that code for ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) and contain one or more radical S-adenosylmethionine (RaS) enzymes, a versatile superfamily known to catalyze some of the most unusual reactions in biology. In the current work, we target a widespread group of streptococcal RiPP BGCs and elucidate both the reaction carried out by its encoded RaS enzyme and identify its peptide natural product, which we name streptosactin. Streptosactin is the first sactipeptide identified from Streptococcus spp.; it contains two sequential four amino acid sactionine macrocycles, an unusual topology for this compound family. Bioactivity assays reveal potent but narrow-spectrum activity against the producing strain and its closest relatives that carry the same BGC, suggesting streptosactin may be a long-suspected fratricidal agent of Streptococcus thermophilus. Our results highlight mammalian streptococci as a rich source of unusual enzymatic chemistries and bioactive natural products.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry