The ubiquitous catechol moiety elicits siderophore and angucycline production in Streptomyces

Doris A. van Bergeijk, Somayah S. Elsayed, Chao Du, Isabel Nuñez Santiago, Anna M. Roseboom, Le Zhang, Victor J. Carrión, Herman P. Spaink, Gilles P. van Wezel* (Corresponding author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Actinobacteria are a rich source of bioactive molecules, and genome sequencing has shown that the vast majority of their biosynthetic potential has yet to be explored. However, many of their biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) are poorly expressed in the laboratory, which prevents discovery of their cognate natural products. To exploit their full biosynthetic potential, better understanding of the signals that promote the expression of BGCs is needed. Here, we show that the human stress hormone epinephrine (adrenaline) elicits siderophore production by Actinobacteria. Catechol was established as the likely eliciting moiety, since similar responses were seen for catechol and for the catechol-containing molecules dopamine and catechin but not for related molecules. Exploration of the catechol-responsive strain Streptomyces sp. MBT84 using mass spectral networking revealed elicitation of a BGC that produces the angucycline glycosides aquayamycin, urdamycinone B and galtamycin C. Heterologous expression of the catechol-cleaving enzymes catechol 1,2-dioxygenase or catechol 2,3-dioxygenase counteracted the eliciting effect of catechol. Thus, our work identifies the ubiquitous catechol moiety as a novel elicitor of the expression of BGCs for specialized metabolites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Pages (from-to)14
Number of pages12
JournalCommunications Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • national
  • Plan_S-Compliant-OA


Dive into the research topics of 'The ubiquitous catechol moiety elicits siderophore and angucycline production in Streptomyces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this