Improved production of class I lanthipeptides in Escherichia coli

Hyunji Lee, Chunyu Wu, Emily K. Desormeaux, Raymond Sarksian, Wilfred A. van der Donk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lanthipeptides are ribosomally synthesised and post-translationally modified peptides containing lanthionine (Lan) and methyllanthionine (MeLan) residues that are formed by dehydration of Ser/Thr residues followed by conjugate addition of Cys to the resulting dehydroamino acids. Class I lanthipeptide dehydratases utilize glutamyl-tRNAGlu as a co-substrate to glutamylate Ser/Thr followed by glutamate elimination. Here we report a new system to heterologously express class I lanthipeptides in Escherichia coli through co-expression of the producing organism's glutamyl-tRNA synthetase (GluRS) and tRNAGlu pair in the vector pEVOL. In contrast to the results in the absence of the pEVOL system, we observed the production of fully-dehydrated peptides, including epilancin 15X, and peptides from the Bacteroidota Chryseobacterium and Runella. A second common obstacle to production of lanthipeptides in E. coli is the formation of glutathione adducts. LanC-like (LanCL) enzymes were previously reported to add glutathione to dehydroamino-acid-containing proteins in Eukarya. Herein, we demonstrate that the LanCL enzymes can remove GSH adducts from C-glutathionylated peptides with dl- or ll-lanthionine stereochemistry. These two advances will aid synthetic biology-driven genome mining efforts to discover new lanthipeptides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2537-2546
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Feb 13 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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