National Center for
2R0G: Chromopyrrolic Acid-Soaked Rebc With Bound 7-Carboxy-K252c
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2007) 104 p.15311-15316
The biosynthesis of rebeccamycin, an antitumor compound, involves the remarkable eight-electron oxidation of chlorinated chromopyrrolic acid. Although one rebeccamycin biosynthetic enzyme is capable of generating low levels of the eight-electron oxidation product on its own, a second protein, RebC, is required to accelerate product formation and eliminate side reactions. However, the mode of action of RebC was largely unknown. Using crystallography, we have determined a likely function for RebC as a flavin hydroxylase, captured two snapshots of its dynamic catalytic cycle, and trapped a reactive molecule, a putative substrate, in its binding pocket. These studies strongly suggest that the role of RebC is to sequester a reactive intermediate produced by its partner protein and to react with it enzymatically, preventing its conversion to a suite of degradation products that includes, at low levels, the desired product.