Quantitative characterization of filamentous fungal promoters on a single-cell resolution to discover cryptic natural products

Sci China Life Sci. 2022 Oct 21. doi: 10.1007/s11427-022-2175-0. Online ahead of print.


Characterization of filamentous fungal regulatory elements remains challenging because of time-consuming transformation technologies and limited quantitative methods. Here we established a method for quantitative assessment of filamentous fungal promoters based on flow cytometry detection of the superfolder green fluorescent protein at single-cell resolution. Using this quantitative method, we acquired a library of 93 native promoter elements from Aspergillus nidulans in a high-throughput format. The strengths of identified promoters covered a 37-fold range by flow cytometry. PzipA and PsltA were identified as the strongest promoters, which were 2.9- and 1.5-fold higher than that of the commonly used constitutive promoter PgpdA. Thus, we applied PzipA and PsltA to activate the silent nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene Afpes1 from Aspergillus fumigatus in its native host and the heterologous host A. nidulans. The metabolic products of Afpes1 were identified as new cyclic tetrapeptide derivatives, namely, fumiganins A and B. Our method provides an innovative strategy for natural product discovery in fungi.

PMID:36287342 | DOI:10.1007/s11427-022-2175-0

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