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Nat Chem Biol. 2010 Aug;6(8):581-6. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.393. Epub 2010 Jun 20.

An ATP-independent strategy for amide bond formation in antibiotic biosynthesis.

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Bioengineering Research Group I, Process Technology Research Laboratories, Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., Fukushima, Japan.


A-503083 B, a capuramycin-type antibiotic, contains an L-aminocaprolactam and an unsaturated hexuronic acid that are linked via an amide bond. A putative class C beta-lactamase (CapW) was identified within the biosynthetic gene cluster that-in contrast to the expected beta-lactamase activity-catalyzed an amide-ester exchange reaction to eliminate the L-aminocaprolactam with concomitant generation of a small but significant amount of the glyceryl ester derivative of A-503083 B, suggesting a potential role for an ester intermediate in the biosynthesis of capuramycins. A carboxyl methyltransferase, CapS, was subsequently demonstrated to function as an S-adenosylmethionine-dependent carboxyl methyltransferase to form the methyl ester derivative of A-503083 B. In the presence of free L-aminocaprolactam, CapW efficiently converts the methyl ester to A-503083 B, thereby generating a new amide bond. This ATP-independent amide bond formation using methyl esterification followed by an ester-amide exchange reaction represents an alternative to known strategies of amide bond formation.

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