Cytochrome P450 enzymes play a key role in producing secondary metabolites or natural compounds. Secondary metabolites are widely used in human and veterinary medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing. Many bacterial species are known to produce secondary metabolites. However, the role of P450 enzymes in the production of secondary metabolites by Salinispora species has not been revealed. To unravel the mystery, a comprehensive research study was carried out on Salinispora species P450s by Mr. Nsikelelo A Malinga, UNIZULU Science Centre Project Officer as part of his master’s degree. The study entailed an intensive comparative analysis of Cytochrome P450 enzymes part of secondary metabolism in Slinilispora Species. Analysis of P450s that are part of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters revealed Salinispora species have an unprecedented number of P450s (47%) part of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters compared to other bacterial species belonging to the genera Streptomyces (23%) and Mycobacterium (11%), phyla Cyanobacteria (8%) and Firmicutes (18%) and the classes Alphaproteobacteria (2%) and Gammaproteobacteria (18%). A peculiar characteristic of up to six P450s in smBGCs was observed in Salinispora species. Future characterization Salinispora species P450s and their smBGCs have the potential for discovering novel secondary metabolites.
The study was made possible through collaborative efforts from the P450 research group headed by Prof Khajamohiddin Syed at the University of Zululand and the researchers from the University of KwaZulu-Natal South Africa, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, USA, and the University of Warsaw, Poland. The study is now published in the accredited international Journal Microorganisms which has impact factor of 4.128 (https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10050871).
Mr. Malinga wishes to extend words of gratitude to all colleagues, family, and friends who have been part of and supported his academic journey. He further expanded his appreciation to his supervisor Prof Syed and to his line manager, Dr. Derek Fish.
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