Dual promoter technology activates a cryptic gene cluster

Terra Bioforge’s technology expands access to nature’s chemistry by enabling activation of cryptic or silent biosynthetic gene clusters. In another recent paper from the Beemelmanns Lab at Saarland University, researchers identified a gene cluster of interest from Actinomadura rubteroloni, the bacterial symbiont of fungus-growing termites that has anti-microbial activity. Many biosynthetic clusters like mdk are silent—poorly or not expressed under lab conditions. To facilitate characterization of the mdk cluster, Terra Bioforge captured the intact 36-kb cluster using our DNAtrap™ technology and cloned it to our patented pDualP expression vector, which contains two inducible promoters for activation of difficult clusters in heterologous expression hosts. When pDualP-mdk was introduced to the Streptomyces albus expression strain and inducer added, the culture turned a greenish color from the expression of seongomycin, the otherwise cryptic product of the mdk cluster. This is another example of how Terra Bioforge’s DNAtrap™ cluster capture technology combined with the pDualP expression system accelerates discovery and characterization of natural products and new drug leads.

Read the paper “Heterologous expression of the cryptic mdk gene cluster and structural revision of maduralactomycin A” here: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2023/ra/d3ra05931f