Peptide backbone modifications in lanthipeptides

Richard S. Ayikpoe, Wilfred A. van der Donk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Lanthipeptides are a class of ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptide (RiPP) natural products characterized by the presence of lanthionine and methyllanthionine. During the maturation of select lanthipeptides, five different alterations have been observed to the chemical structure of the peptide backbone. First, dehydratases generate dehydroalanine and dehydrobutyrine from Ser or Thr residues, respectively. A second example of introduction of unsaturation is the oxidative decarboxylation of C-terminal Cys residues catalyzed by the decarboxylase LanD. Both modifications result in loss of chirality at the α-carbon of the amino acid residues. Attack of a cysteine thiol onto a dehydrated amino acid results in thioether crosslink formation with either inversion or retention of the L-stereochemical configuration at the α-carbon of former Ser and Thr residues. A fourth modification of the protein backbone is the hydrogenation of dehydroamino acids to afford D-amino acids catalyzed by NAD(P)H-dependent reductases. A fifth modification is the conversion of Asp to isoAsp. Herein, the methods used to produce and characterize the lanthipeptide bicereucin will be described in detail along with a brief overview of other lanthipeptides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSynthetic and Enzymatic Modifications of the Peptide Backbone
EditorsE. James Petersson
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages49
ISBN (Print)9780128212530
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Publication series

NameMethods in Enzymology
ISSN (Print)0076-6879
ISSN (Electronic)1557-7988


  • D-amino acids
  • Dehydroalanine
  • Dehydrobutyrine
  • Isoaspartate
  • Lanthionine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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