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Chem Biol. 2004 Nov;11(11):1573-82.

Enhanced macrocyclizing activity of the thioesterase from tyrocidine synthetase in presence of nonionic detergent.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, 240 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Macrocyclization carried out by thioesterase domains of multimodular nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) is a key step in the biosynthesis of many biologically active peptides. The thioesterase excised from tyrocidine synthetase is a versatile macrocyclization catalyst and a useful tool for chemoenzymatic synthesis of diverse cyclic peptides. However, its utility is limited by its short lifetime of catalytic activity as well as significant flux of the acyl-enzyme intermediate to hydrolysis. The addition of Brij 58, a nonionic detergent, above the critical micelle concentration, has dramatic effects on enzyme activity: catalytic activity is extended to >60 min and the rate of cyclization (but not hydrolysis) increases 6-fold, resulting in a net 150- to 300-fold increase in cyclic product yields. This enhanced activity allowed enzymatic macrocyclization of a solid phase library of tyrocidine decapeptides to identify acceptable substitutions at the Orn9 position which had previously been inaccessible for diversification.

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