Biologie bakterieller Naturstoffproduzenten - Newsletter


Newsletter 2022/3
(hier als pdf mit Abbildungen öffnen)


Dear Members,

In this newsletter we like to take the chance to highlight one out of the many outstanding publications published by members of our section, summarize the successful VAAM workshop and introduce one new member!

Publication highlight: Atropopeptides are a family of ribosomally synthesized and postranslationally modified peptides with a complex molecular shape, where a single cytochrome P450 is sufficient for the atropospecific introduction of one carbon-carbon and two carbon-nitrogen bonds. The hexa- and pentapeptide products act as signaling metabolites and show proliferative and pro-migratory properties in endothelial cell cultures. Atropopeptides are a Novel Family of Ribosomally Synthesized and Posttranslationally Modified Peptides with a Complex Molecular Shape: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 41, e202208361 by Pakjira Nanudorn, Sirinthra Thiengmag, Friederike Biermann, Pelin Erkoc, Sabrina D. Dirnberger, Thao N. Phan, Robert Fürst, Reiko Ueoka, Eric J. N. Helfrich.


Meeting of the section Biology of natural product producing bacteria: The annual symposium of the VAAM specialist group took place this year at the TU Dortmund from the 7th to the 9th of September. More than 150 participants (about 120 in person) presented their latest research results on the fast expanding topic of natural product producing bacteria. As in previous years, the symposium offered young scientists in particular the opportunity to present their work to a larger specialist audience. The contributions covered a broad research spectrum - from the discovery of new active substances and the reconstruction of metabolic pathways to the biological function and biotechnological production of natural products. Special highlights were the presentations by the invited guest speakers Alessandra Eustaquio (University of Illinois, Chicago, USA), Emily Balskus (Harvard University, USA) and Greg Challis (University of Warwick, UK). In her presentation, Alessandra Eustaquio discussed how a new family of peptides influences the collective behavior of sponge-associated bacteria. Emily Balskus presented the race to discover the genotoxin colibactin and the studies to explain its mode of action. The lecture by Greg Challis covered novel insights into polyketide biosynthesis. The Hendrik Wolff Prize for outstanding achievements in natural product research was awarded for the first time and the winner for 2022 was Dr. Vincent Wiebach (DTU Copenhagen, DK). In addition, Zerlina Wuisan (AG Till Schäberle, University of Gießen), Leo Padva (AG Max Crüsemann, University of Bonn) and Sirinthra Thiengmag (AG Eric Helfrich, University of Frankfurt) were recognized for their outstanding poster presentations. We congratulate all presenters for their wonderful achievements and are looking forward to the next meeting in 2023 (location will be announced)!   

Meet A Member: Lena Bara studied chemistry at the Technical University of Braunschweig and subsequently joined the group of Prof. Dr. Jeroen S. Dickschat at the University of Bonn to pursue her PhD. Durin her PhD she worked on microbial terpene biosynthetic pathways and the design and application of isotopically labelled compounds for mechanistic investigations. For her postdoctoral studies, she joined the group of Prof. Dr. Ikuro Abe at the University of Tokyo where she worked on unravelling the biosynthesis of a group of structurally unusual azaindane natural products, which were demonstrated to originate from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). In May 2022, she was appointed as Tenure-Track-Professor at the University of Konstanz, where she is now leading an independent research group, focusing on the discovery and investigation of non-canonical natural product pathways. For more information:

Wishing you all the best!

Nadine Ziemert and Christine Beemelmanns


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Newsletter 03/ 2022
Newsletter 02/2022
Newsletter 01/2022