Towards the production of tikitericin: A novel peptide from Thermogemmatispora strain T81
The utilisation of natural products for treatment of human ailments has been rooted in various cultures for centuries. Extraction of natural products has been essential for the discovery of new drugs and inspiration for synthetic analogues. Since the success of penicillin, microbial natural products have been of interest. Genome mining of Thermogemmatisporastrain T81, a thermophile from the Taupo Volcanic Zone, found the potential for the production of novel ribosomally synthesised and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs). Previous work showed that T81 exhibited antimicrobial activity against a wide variety of extremophillic bacteria. Although the three thiopeptides encoded forin the genome of T81 have not been found, the lanthipeptide tikitericin has recently been isolated and described. Unfortunately tikitericin is produced in low quantities by T81 andbioactivity data has not yet been obtained. Because of its potential antimicrobial activity, different routes to produce it are of interest. The aim of this project wasto synthesisetikitericin by solid phase peptide synthesis. MS imaging was also utilised to search for the presence of tikitericin as an antimicrobial agent in situ.