Bioinformatic mapping of radical S-adenosylmethionine-dependent ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides identifies new Cα, Cβ, and Cγ-linked thioether-containing peptides

Graham A. Hudson, Brandon J. Burkhart, Adam J. DiCaprio, Christopher J. Schwalen, Bryce Kille, Taras V. Pogorelov, Douglas A. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recently developed bioinformatic tools have bolstered the discovery of ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs). Using an improved version of Rapid ORF Description and Evaluation Online (RODEO 2.0), a biosynthetic gene cluster mining algorithm, we bioinformatically mapped the sactipeptide RiPP class via the radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) enzymes that form the characteristic sactionine (sulfur-to-α carbon) cross-links between cysteine and acceptor residues. Hundreds of new sactipeptide biosynthetic gene clusters were uncovered, and a novel sactipeptide “huazacin” with growth-suppressive activity against Listeria monocytogenes was characterized. Bioinformatic analysis further suggested that a group of sactipeptide-like peptides heretofore referred to as six cysteines in forty-five residues (SCIFFs) might not be sactipeptides as previously thought. Indeed, the bioinformatically identified SCIFF peptide “freyrasin” was demonstrated to contain six thioethers linking the β carbons of six aspartate residues. Another SCIFF, thermocellin, was shown to contain a thioether cross-linked to the γ carbon of threonine. SCIFFs feature a different paradigm of non-α carbon thioether linkages, and they are exclusively formed by radical SAM enzymes, as opposed to the polar chemistry employed during lanthipeptide biosynthesis. Therefore, we propose the renaming of the SCIFF family as radical non-α thioether peptides (ranthipeptides) to better distinguish them from the sactipeptide and lanthipeptide RiPP classes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8228-8238
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number20
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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