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Chem Biol. 1999 Feb;6(2):117-25.

Mechanism and specificity of the terminal thioesterase domain from the erythromycin polyketide synthase.

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1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, CA 94305-5025,USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Polyketides are important compounds with antibiotic and anticancer activities. Several modular polyketide synthases (PKSs) contain a terminal thioesterase (TE) domain probably responsible for the release and concomitant cyclization of the fully processed polyketide chain. Because the TE domain influences qualitative aspects of product formation by engineered PKSs, its mechanism and specificity are of considerable interest.

RESULTS:

The TE domain of the 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase was overexpressed in Escherichia coli. When tested against a set of N-acetyl cysteamine thioesters the TE domain did not act as a cyclase, but showed significant hydrolytic specificity towards substrates that mimic important features of its natural substrate. Also the overall rate of polyketide chain release was strongly enhanced by a covalent connection between the TE domain and the terminal PKS module (by as much as 100-fold compared with separate TE and PKS 'domains').

CONCLUSIONS:

The inability of the TE domain alone to catalyze cyclization suggests that macrocycle formation results from the combined action of the TE domain and a PKS module. The chain-length and stereochemical preferences of the TE domain might be relevant in the design and engineered biosynthesis of certain novel polyketides. Our results also suggest that the TE domain might loop back to catalyze the release of polyketide chains from both terminal and pre-terminal modules, which may explain the ability of certain naturally occurring PKSs, such as the picromycin synthase, to generate both 12-membered and 14-membered macrolide antibiotics.

PMID:
10021418
DOI:
10.1016/S1074-5521(99)80008-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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