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Biochemistry. 2008 Aug 19;47(33):8726-35. doi: 10.1021/bi800877v. Epub 2008 Jul 26.

Purification and characterization of the epoxidase catalyzing the formation of fosfomycin from Pseudomonas syringae.

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Division of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


The final step in the biosynthesis of fosfomycin in Streptomyces wedmorensis is catalyzed by ( S)-2-hydroxypropylphosphonic acid (HPP) epoxidase ( Sw-HppE). A homologous enzyme from Pseudomonas syringae whose encoding gene ( orf3) shares a relatively low degree of sequence homology with the corresponding Sw-HppE gene has recently been isolated. This purified P. syringae protein was determined to catalyze the epoxidation of ( S)-HPP to fosfomycin and the oxidation of ( R)-HPP to 2-oxopropylphosphonic acid under the same conditions as Sw-HppE. Therefore, this protein is indeed a true HPP epoxidase and is termed Ps-HppE. Like Sw-HppE, Ps-HppE was determined to be post-translationally modified by the hydroxylation of a putative active site tyrosine (Tyr95). Analysis of the Fe(II) center by EPR spectroscopy using NO as a spin probe and molecular oxygen surrogate reveals that Ps-HppE's metal center is similar, but not identical, to that of Sw-HppE. The identity of the rate-determining step for the ( S)-HPP and ( R)-HPP reactions was determined by measuring primary deuterium kinetic effects, and the outcome of these results was correlated with density functional theory calculations. Interestingly, the reaction using the nonphysiological substrate ( R)-HPP was 1.9 times faster than that with ( S)-HPP for both Ps-HppE and Sw-HppE. This is likely due to the difference in bond dissociation energy of the abstracted hydrogen atom for each respective reaction. Thus, despite the low level of amino acid sequence identity, Ps-HppE is a close mimic of Sw-HppE, representing a second example of a non-heme iron-dependent enzyme capable of catalyzing dehydrogenation of a secondary alcohol to form a new C-O bond.

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