Sequence controlled secondary structure is important for the site-selectivity of lanthipeptide cyclization

Xuenan Mi, Emily K Desormeaux, Tung T Le, Wilfred A van der Donk, Diwakar Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lanthipeptides are ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides that are generated from precursor peptides through a dehydration and cyclization process. ProcM, a class II lanthipeptide synthetase, demonstrates high substrate tolerance. It is enigmatic that a single enzyme can catalyze the cyclization process of many substrates with high fidelity. Previous studies suggested that the site-selectivity of lanthionine formation is determined by substrate sequence rather than by the enzyme. However, exactly how substrate sequence contributes to site-selective lanthipeptide biosynthesis is not clear. In this study, we performed molecular dynamic simulations for ProcA3.3 variants to explore how the predicted solution structure of the substrate without enzyme correlates to the final product formation. Our simulation results support a model in which the secondary structure of the core peptide is important for the final product's ring pattern for the substrates investigated. We also demonstrate that the dehydration step in the biosynthesis pathway does not influence the site-selectivity of ring formation. In addition, we performed simulation for ProcA1.1 and 2.8, which are well-suited candidates to investigate the connection between order of ring formation and solution structure. Simulation results indicate that in both cases, C-terminal ring formation is more likely which was supported by experimental results. Our findings indicate that the substrate sequence and its solution structure can be used to predict the site-selectivity and order of ring formation, and that secondary structure is a crucial factor influencing the site-selectivity. Taken together, these findings will facilitate our understanding of the lanthipeptide biosynthetic mechanism and accelerate bioengineering efforts for lanthipeptide-derived products.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6904-6914
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Science
Issue number25
Early online dateMay 9 2023
StatePublished - May 9 2023


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