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J Am Chem Soc. 2012 Feb 29;134(8):3687-90. doi: 10.1021/ja300007h. Epub 2012 Feb 17.

Ring A of nukacin ISK-1: a lipid II-binding motif for type-A(II) lantibiotic.

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Laboratory of Microbial Technology, Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Ring A of nukacin ISK-1, which is also present in different type-A(II) lantibiotics, resembles a lipid II-binding motif (TxS/TxD/EC, x denotes undefined residues) similar to that present in mersacidin (type-B lantibiotics), which suggests that nukacin ISK-1 binds to lipid II as a docking molecule. Results from our experiments on peptidoglycan precursor (UDP-MurNAc-pp) accumulation and peptide antagonism assays clearly indicated that nukacin ISK-1 inhibits cell-wall biosynthesis, accumulating lipid II precursor inside the cell, and the peptide activity can be repressed by lipid I and lipid II. Interaction analysis of nukacin ISK-1 and different ring A variants with lipid II revealed that nukacin ISK-1 and nukacin D13E (a more active variant) have a high affinity (K(D) = 0.17 and 0.19 μM, respectively) for lipid II, whereas nukacin D13A (a less active variant) showed a lower affinity, and nukacin C14S (a negative variant lacking the ring A structure) exhibited no interaction. Therefore, on the basis of the structural similarity and positional significance of the amino acids in this region, we concluded that nukacin ISK-1 binds lipid II via its ring A region and may lead to the inhibition of cell-wall biosynthesis.

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