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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Apr 24;135(16):5962-5. doi: 10.1021/ja400795m. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Metabolic perturbation of an essential pathway: evaluation of a glycine precursor of coenzyme A.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0358, USA.


Pantetheine and its corresponding disulfide pantethine play a key role in metabolism as building blocks of coenzyme A (CoA), an essential cofactor utilized in ~4% of primary metabolism and central to fatty acid, polyketide, and nonribosomal peptide synthases. Using a combination of recombinant engineering and chemical synthesis, we show that the disulfide of N-pantoylglycyl-2-aminoethanethiol (GlyPan), with one fewer carbon than pantetheine, can rescue a mutant E. coli strain MG1655ΔpanC lacking a functional pantothenate synthetase. Using mass spectrometry, we show that the GlyPan variant is accepted by the downstream CoA biosynthetic machinery, ultimately being incorporated into essential acyl carrier proteins. These findings point to further flexibility in CoA-dependent pathways and offer the opportunity to incorporate orthogonal analogues.

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