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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Nov 6;135(44):16360-3. doi: 10.1021/ja409376k. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Discovery of a cyclic phosphodiesterase that catalyzes the sequential hydrolysis of both ester bonds to phosphorus.

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Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University , P.O. Box 30012, College Station, Texas 77843-3012, United States.


The bacterial C-P lyase pathway is responsible for the metabolism of unactivated organophosphonates under conditions of phosphate starvation. The cleavage of the C-P bond within ribose-1-methylphosphonate-5-phosphate to form methane and 5-phospho-ribose-1,2-cyclic phosphate (PRcP) is catalyzed by the radical SAM enzyme PhnJ. In Escherichia coli the cyclic phosphate product is hydrolyzed to ribose-1,5-bisphosphate by PhnP. In this study, we describe the discovery and characterization of an enzyme that can hydrolyze a cyclic phosphodiester directly to a vicinal diol and inorganic phosphate. With PRcP, this enzyme hydrolyzes the phosphate ester at carbon-1 of the ribose moiety to form ribose-2,5-bisphosphate, and then this intermediate is hydrolyzed to ribose-5-phosphate and inorganic phosphate. Ribose-1,5-bisphosphate is neither an intermediate nor a substrate for this enzyme. Orthologues of this enzyme are found in the human pathogens Clostridium difficile and Eggerthella lenta. We propose that this enzyme be called cyclic phosphate dihydrolase (cPDH) and be designated as PhnPP.

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