Discovery and Characterization of Epemicins A and B, New 30-Membered Macrolides from Kutzneria sp. CA-103260

Eftychia Eva Kontou, Tetiana Gren, Francisco Javier Ortiz-López, Emil Thomsen, Daniel Oves-Costales, Caridad Díaz, Mercedes De La Cruz, Xinglin Jiang, Tue Sparholt Jørgensen, Kai Blin, Pep Charusanti, Fernando Reyes, Olga Genilloud, Tilmann Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Actinobacteria have been a rich source of novel, structurally complex natural products for many decades. Although the largest genus is Streptomyces, from which the majority of antibiotics in current and past clinical use were originally isolated, other less common genera also have the potential to produce a wealth of novel secondary metabolites. One example is the Kutzneria genus, which currently contains only five reported species. One of these species is Kutzneria albida DSM 43870T, which has 46 predicted biosynthetic gene clusters and is known to produce the macrolide antibiotic aculeximycin. Here, we report the isolation and structural characterization of two novel 30-membered glycosylated macrolides, epemicins A and B, that are structurally related to aculeximycin, from a rare Kutzneria sp. The absolute configuration for all chiral centers in the two compounds is proposed based on extensive 1D and 2D NMR studies and bioinformatics analysis of the gene cluster. Through heterologous expression and genetic inactivation, we have confirmed the link between the biosynthetic gene cluster and the new molecules. These findings show the potential of rare Actinobacteria to produce new, structurally diverse metabolites. Furthermore, the gene inactivation represents the first published report to genetically manipulate a representative of the Kutzneria genus.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS chemical biology
Number of pages13
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


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