The Biosynthesis of Rare Homo-Amino Acid Containing Variants of Microcystin by a Benthic Cyanobacterium

Tania Keiko Shishido, Jouni Jokela, Anu Humisto, Suvi Suurnäkki, Matti Wahlsten, Danillo Oliveria de Alvarenga, Kaarina Sivonen, David Fewer

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Microcystins are a family of chemically diverse hepatotoxins produced by distantly related cyanobacteria and are potent inhibitors of eukaryotic protein phosphatases 1 and 2A. Here we provide evidence for the biosynthesis of rare variants of microcystin that contain a selection of homo-amino acids by the benthic cyanobacterium Phormidium sp. LP904c. This strain produces at least 16 microcystin chemical variants many of which contain homophenylalanine or homotyrosine. We retrieved the complete 54.2 kb microcystin (mcy) gene cluster from a draft genome assembly. Analysis of the substrate specificity of McyB1 and McyC adenylation domain binding pockets revealed divergent substrate specificity sequences, which could explain the activation of homo-amino acids which were present in 31% of the microcystins detected and included variants such as MC-LHty, MC-HphHty, MC-LHph and MC-HphHph. The mcy gene cluster did not encode enzymes for the synthesis of homo-amino acids but may instead activate homo-amino acids produced during the synthesis of anabaenopeptins. We observed the loss of microcystin during cultivation of a closely related strain, Phormidium sp. DVL1003c. This study increases the knowledge of benthic cyanobacterial strains that produce microcystin variants and broadens the structural diversity of known microcystins.
TidskriftMarine Drugs
Sidor (från-till)1
Antal sidor16
StatusPublicerad - 7 maj 2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 318 Medicinsk bioteknologi
  • 1183 Växtbiologi, mikrobiologi, virologi

Citera det här