New natural product families from an environmental DNA (eDNA) gene cluster

J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Aug 28;124(34):9968-9. doi: 10.1021/ja0268985.


Uncultured bacteria represent a potentially rich source of new and useful natural products. Studying these natural products requires the development of effective yet straightforward methods to access the small-molecule chemical diversity produced by uncultured bacteria. In this study, DNA extracted directly from soil samples (environmental DNA, eDNA) was used to construct cosmid libraries in Escherichia coli, and these clones were then assayed for the production of antibiosis. A 13 open reading frame (ORF) biosynthetic gene cluster (feeA-M) found in one of the antibacterial active clones, CSLC-2, confers to E. coli the production of two new families of natural products that are derived from long chain N-acyltyrosines. The fee gene cluster and three families of the long chain acyl phenols derived from tyrosine (families 1, 2, and 3) are described.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / biosynthesis
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • Fatty Acids / biosynthesis
  • Fatty Acids / genetics
  • Multigene Family*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Fast Atom Bombardment
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tyrosine / biosynthesis
  • Tyrosine / genetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Fatty Acids
  • Tyrosine
  • DNA