Craig A. Townsend

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BACKGROUND Nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) are large modular proteins that selectively bind, activate and condense amino acids in an ordered manner. Substrate recognition and activation occurs by reaction with ATP within the adenylation (A) domain of each module. Recently, the crystal structure of the A domain from the gramicidin synthetase (GrsA)(More)
With the escalation of obesity-related disease, there is great interest in defining the mechanisms that control appetite and body weight. We have identified a link between anabolic energy metabolism and appetite control. Both systemic and intracerebroventricular treatment of mice with fatty acid synthase (FAS) inhibitors (cerulenin and a synthetic compound(More)
Compared to normal human tissues, many common human cancers, including carcinoma of the colon, prostate, ovary, breast, and endometrium, express high levels of fatty acid synthase (FAS, EC ), the primary enzyme responsible for the synthesis of fatty acids. This differential expression of FAS between normal tissues and cancer has led to the notion that FAS(More)
A biologically aggressive subset of human breast cancers and other malignancies is characterized by elevated fatty-acid synthase (FAS) enzyme expression, elevated fatty acid (FA) synthesis, and selective sensitivity to pharmacological inhibition of FAS activity by cerulenin or the novel compound C75. In this study, inhibition of FA synthesis at the(More)
PksA, which initiates biosynthesis of the environmental carcinogen aflatoxin B1, is one of the multidomain iterative polyketide synthases (IPKSs), a large, poorly understood family of biosynthetic enzymes. We found that dissection of PksA and its reconstitution from selected sets of domains allows the accumulation and characterization of advanced octaketide(More)
C75, an inhibitor of fatty acid synthase (FAS), induces apoptosis in cultured human cancer cells. Its proposed mechanism of action linked high levels of malonyl-CoA after FAS inhibition to potential downstream effects including inhibition of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (CPT-1) with resultant inhibition of fatty acid oxidation. Recent data has shown(More)
Search of the protein database with the aflatoxin pathway polyketide synthase (PKS) revealed putative PKSs in the pathogenic fungi Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii that could require partnerships with a pair of fatty acid synthase (FAS) subunits for the biosynthesis of fatty acid-polyketide hybrid metabolites. A starter unit:acyl-carrier(More)
Clavulanic acid is a potent beta-lactamase inhibitor used to combat resistance to penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics. There is a demand for high-yielding fermentation strains for industrial production of this valuable product. Clavulanic acid biosynthesis is initiated by the condensation of L-arginine and D-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (G3P). To(More)
Versicolorin B synthase catalyzes the side chain cyclization of racemic versiconal hemiacetal to the bisfuran ring system of(-)-versicolorin B, an essential transformation in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway of Aspergillus parasiticus. The dihydrobisfuran is key to the mutagenic nature of aflatoxin B1. The protein, which shows 58% similarity and 38%(More)
Clavulanic acid is a potent inhibitor of beta-lactamase enzymes and is of demonstrated value in the treatment of infections by beta-lactam-resistant bacteria. Previously, it was thought that eight contiguous genes within the genome of the producing strain Streptomyces clavuligerus were sufficient for clavulanic acid biosynthesis, because they allowed(More)