Discovery and characterisation of an amidine-containing ribosomally-synthesised peptide that is widely distributed in nature†
Ribosomally synthesised and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are a structurally diverse class of natural product with a wide range of bioactivities. Genome mining for RiPP biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) is often hampered by poor annotation of the short precursor peptides that are ultimately modified into the final molecule. Here, we utilise a previously described genome mining tool, RiPPER, to identify novel RiPP precursor peptides near YcaO-domain proteins, enzymes that catalyse various RiPP post-translational modifications including heterocyclisation and thioamidation. Using this dataset, we identified a novel and diverse family of RiPP BGCs spanning over 230 species of Actinobacteria and Firmicutes. A representative BGC from Streptomyces albidoflavus J1074 (formerly known as Streptomyces albus) was characterised, leading to the discovery of streptamidine, a novel amidine-containing RiPP. This new BGC family highlights the breadth of unexplored natural products with structurally rare features, even in model organisms.