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Biochemistry. 2001 Jun 19;40(24):7099-108.

Generality of peptide cyclization catalyzed by isolated thioesterase domains of nonribosomal peptide synthetases.

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


The C-terminal thioesterase (TE) domains from nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) catalyze the final step in the biosynthesis of diverse biologically active molecules. In many systems, the thioesterase domain is involved in macrocyclization of a linear precursor presented as an acyl-S-enzyme intermediate. The excised thioesterase domain from the tyrocidine NRPS has been shown to catalyze the cyclization of a peptide thioester substrate which mimics its natural acyl-S-enzyme substrate. In this work we explore the generality of cyclization catalyzed by isolated TE domains. Using synthetic peptide thioester substrates from 6 to 14 residues in length, we show that the excised TE domain from the tyrocidine NRPS can be used to generate an array of sizes of cyclic peptides with comparable kinetic efficiency. We also studied the excised TE domains from the NRPSs which biosynthesize the symmetric cyclic decapeptide gramicidin S and the cyclic lipoheptapeptide surfactin A. Both TE domains exhibit expected cyclization activity: the TE domain from the gramicidin S NRPS catalyzes head-to-tail cyclization of a decapeptide thioester to form gramicidin S, and the TE domain from the surfactin NRPS catalyzes stereospecific cyclization to form a macrolactone analogue of surfactin. With an eye toward generating libraries of cyclic molecules by TE catalysis, we report the solid-phase synthesis and TE-mediated cyclization of a small pool of linear peptide thioesters. These studies provide evidence for the general utility of TE catalysis as a means to synthesize a wide range of macrocyclic compounds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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