An anaerobic bacterium host system for heterologous expression of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters

Tingting Hao, Zhoujie Xie, Min Wang, Liwei Liu, Yuwei Zhang, Weicang Wang, Zhao Zhang, Xuejin Zhao, Pengwei Li, Zhengyan Guo, Shushan Gao, Chunbo Lou, Guodong Zhang, Justin Merritt, Geoff P. Horsman, Yihua Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Anaerobic bacteria represent an overlooked rich source of biological and chemical diversity. Due to the challenge of cultivation and genetic intractability, assessing the capability of their biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) for secondary metabolite production requires an efficient heterologous expression system. However, this kind of host system is still unavailable. Here, we use the facultative anaerobe Streptococcus mutans UA159 as a heterologous host for the expression of BGCs from anaerobic bacteria. A natural competence based large DNA fragment cloning (NabLC) technique was developed, which can move DNA fragments up to 40-kb directly and integrate a 73.7-kb BGC to the genome of S. mutans UA159 via three rounds of NabLC cloning. Using this system, we identify an anti-infiltration compound, mutanocyclin, from undefined BGCs from human oral bacteria. We anticipate this host system will be useful for heterologous expression of BGCs from anaerobic bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3665
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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