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Chem Biol. 2005 May;12(5):589-93.

A nucleosidase required for in vivo function of the S-adenosyl-L-methionine radical enzyme, biotin synthase.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801, USA.


Biotin synthase is an S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) radical enzyme that inserts sulfur into dethiobiotin to produce biotin. The reaction proceeds through 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical intermediates that become reduced during the sulfur insertion step to give another product of the reaction, 5'-deoxyadenosine. We report that Escherichia coli strains lacking the 5'-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase encoded by the pfs gene are deficient in biotin synthase activity due to accumulation of 5'-deoxyadenosine, a new substrate of the pfs-encoded nucleosidase. Physiological experiments indicate that lipoic acid synthase, another SAM radical enzyme, is also inhibited by 5'-deoxyadenosine accumulation.

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