PcxL and HpxL are flavin-dependent, oxime-forming N-oxidases in phosphonocystoximic acid biosynthesis in Streptomyces

Michelle N. Goettge, Joel P. Cioni, Kou San Ju, Katharina Pallitsch, William W. Metcalf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several oxime-containing small molecules have useful properties, including antimicrobial, insecticidal, anticancer, and immunosuppressive activities. Phosphonocystoximate and its hydroxylated congener, hydroxyphosphonocystoximate, are recently discovered oxime-containing natural products produced by Streptomyces sp. NRRL S-481 and Streptomyces regensis NRRL WC-3744, respectively. The biosynthetic pathways for these two compounds are proposed to diverge at an early step in which 2-aminoethylphosphonate (2AEPn) is converted to (S)-1hydroxy-2-aminoethylphosphonate ((S)-1H2AEPn) in S. regensis but not in Streptomyces sp. NRRL S-481). Subsequent installation of the oxime moiety into either 2AEPn or (S)-1H2AEPn is predicted to be catalyzed by PcxL or HpxL from Streptomyces sp. NRRL S-481 and S. regensis NRRL WC-3744, respectively, whose sequence and predicted structural characteristics suggest they are unusual N-oxidases. Here, we show that recombinant PcxL and HpxL catalyze the FAD- and NADPH-dependent oxidation of 2AEPn and 1H2AEPn, producing a mixture of the respective aldoximes and nitrosylated phosphonic acid products. Measurements of catalytic efficiency indicated that PcxL has almost an equal preference for 2AEPn and (R)-1H2AEPn. 2AEPn was turned over at a 10-fold higher rate than (R)1H2AEPn under saturating conditions, resulting in a similar but slightly lower kcat/Km. We observed that (S)-1H2AEPn is a relatively poor substrate for PcxL but is clearly the preferred substrate for HpxL, consistent with the proposed biosynthetic pathway in S. regensis. HpxL also used both 2AEPn and (R)1H2AEPn, with the latter inhibiting HpxL at high concentrations. Bioinformatic analysis indicated that PcxL and HpxL are members of a new class of oxime-forming N-oxidases that are broadly dispersed among bacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6859-6868
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 4 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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