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Synthetic Natural Product Inspired Cyclic Peptides
ACS Chemical Biology  (IF5.1),  Pub Date : 2021-10-26, DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.1c00641
Matthew A. Hostetler, Chloe Smith, Samantha Nelson, Zachary Budimir, Ramya Modi, Ian Woolsey, Autumn Frerk, Braden Baker, Jessica Gantt, Elizabeth I. Parkinson

Natural products are a bountiful source of bioactive molecules. Unfortunately, discovery of novel bioactive natural products is challenging due to cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters, low titers, and arduous purifications. Herein, we describe SNaPP (Synthetic Natural Product Inspired Cyclic Peptides), a method for identifying NP-inspired bioactive peptides. SNaPP expedites bioactive molecule discovery by combining bioinformatics predictions of nonribosomal peptide synthetases with chemical synthesis of the predicted natural products (pNPs). SNaPP utilizes a recently discovered cyclase, the penicillin binding protein-like cyclase, as the lynchpin for the development of a library of head-to-tail cyclic peptide pNPs. Analysis of 500 biosynthetic gene clusters allowed for identification of 131 novel pNPs. Fifty-one diverse pNPs were synthesized using solid phase peptide synthesis and solution-phase cyclization. Antibacterial testing revealed 14 pNPs with antibiotic activity, including activity against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Overall, SNaPP demonstrates the power of combining bioinformatics predictions with chemical synthesis to accelerate the discovery of bioactive molecules.