Loesgen Lab Publishes Paper in Angewandte Chemie

Loesgen Lab Publishes Paper in Angewandte Chemie

Published: Friday, May 7, 2021

Congratulations to the Loesgen Lab, in collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Rudolf, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Florida, and his lab for a paper titled "Discovery and biosynthesis of a structurally dynamic antibacterial diterpenoid." 

Soil bacteria have been providing human kind with a range of clinically approved drugs, from antibiotics like streptomycin to cancer treatments like doxorubicin. In this study, they found a new class of terpenoid metabolites in bacteria. The novel compound is dynamic on solution and exists in two distinct-ring, flipped conformations. They sequenced the bacterial genome, identified the responsible biosynthetic gene cluster, verified the function of the terpene synthase, and heterologously produced the core diterpene.

The natural product exhibits moderate antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria including methicillin and multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This is the first isolation of an eunicellane-type diterpenoid from bacteria and the first identification of a diterpene synthase and biosynthetic gene cluster responsible for the construction.

This molecule was named 'benditerpenoic acid', the bacterium was isolated from soil collected close to Bend, Oregon. It is also "bend-y." The metadynamics simulation shows the dynamic movement of the molecule in solution. 

Full Paper