To further exploit secondary metabolic potential of a minor actinomycete genus Phytohabitans within the family Micromonosporaceae, metabolite profiling by HPLC-UV analysis, combined with 16S rDNA sequence-based phylotyping were attempted on seven Phytohabitans strains available at the public culture collection. The strains were grouped into three clades and each exhibited unique and distinct metabolite profiles, which were highly conserved among strains within the same clade. These results were consistent with previous observations on two other actinomycetes genera, reconfirming species-specificity of secondary metabolite production, which were conventionally thought to be strain-specific. A strain RD003215, belonging to the P. suffuscus clade, produced multiple metabolites, some of which were presumed to be naphthoquinones. Liquid fermentation followed by chromatographic separation of the broth extract led to the discovery of three new pyranonaphthoquinones, designated habipyranoquinones A–C (1–3), and one new isatin derivative, (R)-N-methyl-3-hydroxy-5,6-dimethoxyoxindole (4), along with three known synthetic compounds, 6,8-dihydroxydehydro-α-lapachone (5), N-methyl-5,6-dimethoxyisatin (6), and 5,6-dimethoxyisatin (7). Structures of 1–4 were unequivocally elucidated by NMR, MS, and CD spectral analysis, with assistance of density functional theory-based NMR chemical shift prediction and ECD spectral calculation. Compound 2 displayed antibacterial activity against Kocuria rhizophila and Staphylococcus aureus with MIC 50 µg/mL and cytotoxicity against P388 murine leukemia cells with an IC50 value of 34 µM. Compounds 1 and 4 also showed cytotoxicity against P388 cells with IC50 values of 29 and 14 µM, respectively.
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The authors thank Dr. Shun Saito (currently at Keio University) for providing the 16S rRNA gene sequences of strains RD002984 and RD003215.
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Triningsih, D.W., Harunari, E., Fukaya, K. et al. Species-specific secondary metabolism by actinomycetes of the genus Phytohabitans and discovery of new pyranonaphthoquinones and isatin derivatives. J Antibiot (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41429-023-00605-2