Michael-Type Cyclizations in Lantibiotic Biosynthesis Are Reversible

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Lanthipeptides are members of the ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs). They are generated in two biosynthetic steps: dehydration of Ser and Thr residues to the corresponding dehydroamino acids and subsequent conjugate addition by the thiol of Cys residues to generate the characteristic lanthionine and methyllanthionine thioether-bridged structures. Typically, a lanthipeptide contains multiple thioether cross-links. Recent studies have proposed that the final ring topology may be under thermodynamic control. If so, then the Michael-type cyclization reaction would need to be reversible, but such reversibility has never been demonstrated. We show here for the class I lanthipeptide cyclase NisC and class II lanthipeptide synthetase HalM2 that, indeed, the conjugate addition reactions are reversible and that the enzymes can open up all thioether rings in their products. We also propose that a His residue that is conserved among the lanthipeptide cyclases acts as the acid or base that protonates or generates the enolate intermediate during thioether ring formation and opening, respectively. (Chemical Equation Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1234-1238
Number of pages5
JournalACS chemical biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine


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