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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Apr 23;125(16):4726-7.

Structure of subtilosin A, an antimicrobial peptide from Bacillus subtilis with unusual posttranslational modifications linking cysteine sulfurs to alpha-carbons of phenylalanine and threonine.

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Department of Chemistry, National High Field NMR Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G2, Canada.


The complete primary and three-dimensional solution structures of subtilosin A (1), a bacteriocin from Bacillus subtilis, were determined by multidimensional NMR studies on peptide produced using isotopically labeled [(13)C,(15)N]medium derived from Anabaena sp. grown on sodium [(13)C]bicarbonate and [(15)N]nitrate. Additional samples of 1 were also generated by separate incorporations of [U-(13)C,(15)N]phenylalanine and [U-(13)C,(15)N]threonine using otherwise unlabeled media. The results demonstrate that in addition to having a cyclized peptide backbone (N and C termini), three cross-links are formed between the sulfurs of Cys13, Cys7, and Cys4 and the alpha-positions of Phe22, Thr28, and Phe31, respectively. Such posttranslational linkage of a thiol to the alpha-carbon of an amino acid residue is very unusual in natural peptides or proteins. Subtilosin A (1) belongs to a new class of bacteriocins.

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