Pyridoxal-5′-phosphate-dependent alkyl transfer in nucleoside antibiotic biosynthesis

Zheng Cui, Jonathan Overbay, Xiachang Wang, Xiaodong Liu, Yinan Zhang, Minakshi Bhardwaj, Anke Lemke, Daniel Wiegmann, Giuliana Niro, Jon S. Thorson, Christian Ducho, Steven G. Van Lanen

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21 Scopus citations


Several nucleoside antibiotics are structurally characterized by a 5″-amino-5″-deoxyribose (ADR) appended via a glycosidic bond to a high-carbon sugar nucleoside (5′S,6′S)-5′-C-glycyluridine (GlyU). GlyU is further modified with an N-alkylamine linker, the biosynthetic origin of which has yet to be established. By using a combination of feeding experiments with isotopically labeled precursors and characterization of recombinant proteins from multiple pathways, the biosynthetic mechanism for N-alkylamine installation for ADR–GlyU-containing nucleoside antibiotics has been uncovered. The data reveal S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) as the direct precursor of the N-alkylamine, but, unlike conventional AdoMet- or decarboxylated AdoMet-dependent alkyltransferases, the reaction is catalyzed by a pyridoxal-5′-phosphate-dependent aminobutyryltransferase (ABTase) using a stepwise γ-replacement mechanism that couples γ-elimination of AdoMet with aza-γ-addition onto the disaccharide alkyl acceptor. In addition to using a conceptually different strategy for AdoMet-dependent alkylation, the newly discovered ABTases require a phosphorylated disaccharide alkyl acceptor, revealing a cryptic intermediate in the biosynthetic pathway. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-911
Number of pages8
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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