Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Steven G. Van Lanen


New antibiotics with novel targets or mechanisms of action are needed to counter the steady emergence of bacterial pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics used in the clinic. MraY, a promising novel target for antibiotic development, initiates the lipid cycle for the biosynthesis of peptidoglycan cell wall, which is essential for the survival of most, if-not-all, bacteria. MraY is an enzyme that catalyzes the transfer and attachment of phospho-MurNAc-pentapeptide to a lipid carrier, undecaprenylphosphate. Muraymycins are recently discovered lipopeptidyl nucleoside antibiotics that exhibit remarkable antibiotic activity against Gram-positive as well as Gram-negative bacteria by inhibiting MraY. We conducted a thorough examination of the metabolic profile of Streptomyces sp. strain NRRL 30473, a known producer of muraymycins. Eight muraymycins were isolated and characterized by a suite of spectroscopic methods, including three new members of muraymycin family named B8, B9 and C5. Muraymycins B8 and B9, which differ from other muraymycins by having an elongated fatty acid side chain, showed potent antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli ∆tolC mutant and pM IC50 against Staphylococcus aureus MraY. Muraymycin C5, which is characterized by an N-acetyl modification of the disaccharide’s primary amine, greatly reduced its antibacterial activity, which possibly indicates this modification is used for self-resistance.

In addition to the discovery of new muraymycins, eleven enzymes from the biosynthetic pathway were functionally assigned and characterized in vitro. Six enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of amino ribofuranosylated uronic acid moiety of muraymycin were characterized: Mur16, a non-heme, Fe(II)-dependent α-ketoglutarate: UMP dioxygenase; Mur17, an L-threonine: uridine-5′-aldehyde transaldolase; Mur20, an L-methionine:1-aminotransferase; Mur26, a low specificity pyrimidine nucleoside phosphorylase; Mur18, a primary amine-requiring nucleotidylyltransferase; Mur19, a 5-amino-5-deoxyribosyltransferase. A one-pot enzyme reaction was utilized to produce this disaccharide moiety and its 2′′-deoxy analogue. Two muraymycin-modifying enzymes that confer self-resistance were functionally assigned and characterized: Mur28, a TmrB-like ATP-dependent muraymycin phosphotransferase, and Mur29, a muraymycin nucleotidyltransferase. Notably, Mur28 preferentially phosphorylates the intermediate, aminoribofuranosylated uronic acid, in the muraymycin biosynthetic pathway to produce a cryptic phosphorylated-dissacharide intermediate. Mur23 and Mur24 were assigned as two enzymes that modify the cryptic phosphorylated intermediate by attachment of an aminopropyl group. Mur24 catalyzes the incorporation of butyric acid into the phosphorylated-disaccharide. Following the incorporation, Mur23 catalyzes a PLP-dependent decarboxylation. Finally, Mur15, which belongs to the cupin family, is functionally assigned as a non-heme, Fe(II)-dependent α-ketoglutarate dioxygenase that catalyzes the β-hydroxylation of a leucine moiety in muraymycin D1 to form muraymycin C1. Mur15 can also hydroxylate the γ-position of leucine moiety to muraymycins with fatty acid chain in β-position.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)