Moore Bradley S.

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Bradley S.

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  • Article
    A bacterial quorum-sensing precursor induces mortality in the marine coccolithophore, Emiliania huxleyi
    (Frontiers Media, 2016-02-03) Harvey, Elizabeth L. ; Deering, Robert W. ; Rowley, David C. ; El Gamal, Abrahim ; Schorn, Michelle A. ; Moore, Bradley S. ; Johnson, Matthew D. ; Mincer, Tracy J. ; Whalen, Kristen E.
    Interactions between phytoplankton and bacteria play a central role in mediating biogeochemical cycling and food web structure in the ocean. However, deciphering the chemical drivers of these interspecies interactions remains challenging. Here, we report the isolation of 2-heptyl-4-quinolone (HHQ), released by Pseudoalteromonas piscicida, a marine gamma-proteobacteria previously reported to induce phytoplankton mortality through a hitherto unknown algicidal mechanism. HHQ functions as both an antibiotic and a bacterial signaling molecule in cell–cell communication in clinical infection models. Co-culture of the bloom-forming coccolithophore, Emiliania huxleyi with both live P. piscicida and cell-free filtrates caused a significant decrease in algal growth. Investigations of the P. piscicida exometabolome revealed HHQ, at nanomolar concentrations, induced mortality in three strains of E. huxleyi. Mortality of E. huxleyi in response to HHQ occurred slowly, implying static growth rather than a singular loss event (e.g., rapid cell lysis). In contrast, the marine chlorophyte, Dunaliella tertiolecta and diatom, Phaeodactylum tricornutum were unaffected by HHQ exposures. These results suggest that HHQ mediates the type of inter-domain interactions that cause shifts in phytoplankton population dynamics. These chemically mediated interactions, and other like it, ultimately influence large-scale oceanographic processes.
  • Preprint
    Biosynthesis of coral settlement cue tetrabromopyrrole in marine bacteria by a uniquely adapted brominase-thioesterase enzyme pair
    ( 2016-02) El Gamal, Abrahim ; Agarwal, Vinayak ; Diethelm, Stefan ; Rahman, Imran ; Schorn, Michelle A. ; Sneed, Jennifer M. ; Louie, Gordon V. ; Whalen, Kristen E. ; Mincer, Tracy J. ; Noel, Joseph P. ; Paul, Valerie J. ; Moore, Bradley S.
    Halogenated pyrroles (halopyrroles) are common chemical moieties found in bioactive bacterial natural products. The halopyrrole moieties of mono- and di- halopyrrole-containing compounds arise from a conserved mechanism in which a proline-derived pyrrolyl group bound to a carrier protein is first halogenated then elaborated by peptidic or polyketide extensions. This paradigm is broken during the marine pseudoalteromonad bacterial biosynthesis of the coral larval settlement cue tetrabromopyrrole (1), which arises from the substitution of the proline-derived carboxylate by a bromine atom. To understand the molecular basis for decarboxylative bromination in the biosynthesis of 1, we sequenced two Pseudoalteromonas genomes and identified a conserved four-gene locus encoding the enzymes involved its complete biosynthesis. Through total in vitro reconstitution of the biosynthesis of 1 using purified enzymes and biochemical interrogation of individual biochemical steps, we show that all four bromine atoms in 1 are installed by the action of a single flavin-dependent halogenase- Bmp2. Tetrabromination of the pyrrole induces a thioesterase-mediated offloading reaction from the carrier protein and activates the biosynthetic intermediate for decarboxylation. Insights into the tetrabrominating activity of Bmp2 were obtained from the high-resolution crystal structure of the halogenase contrasted against structurally homologous halogenase Mpy16 that forms only a dihalogenated pyrrole in marinopyrrole biosynthesis. Structure-guided mutagenesis of the proposed substrate-binding pocket of Bmp2 led to a reduction in the degree of halogenation catalyzed. Our study provides a biogenetic basis for the biosynthesis of 1, and sets a firm foundation for querying the biosynthetic potential for the production of 1 in marine (meta)genomes.