Structure and mechanism of the rebeccamycin sugar 4′-O- methyltransferase RebM

Shanteri Singh, Jason G. McCoy, Changsheng Zhang, Craig A. Bingman, George N. Phillips, Jon S. Thorson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The 2.65-Å crystal structure of the rebeccamycin 4′-O- methyltransferase RebM in complex with S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine revealed RebM to adopt a typical S-adenosylmethionine-binding fold of small molecule O-methyltransferases (O-MTases) and display a weak dimerization domain unique to MTases. Using this structure as a basis, the RebM substrate binding model implicated a predominance of nonspecific hydrophobic interactions consistent with the reported ability of RebM to methylate a wide range of indolocarbazole surrogates. This model also illuminated the three putative RebM catalytic residues (His140/141 and Asp166) subsequently found to be highly conserved among sequence-related natural product O-MTases from GC-rich bacteria. Interrogation of these residues via site-directed mutagenesis in RebM demonstrated His140 and Asp166 to be most important for catalysis. This study reveals RebM to be a member of the general acid/base-dependent O-MTases and, as the first crystal structure for a sugar O-MTase, may also present a template toward the future engineering of natural product MTases for combinatorial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22628-22636
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 15 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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