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Tetrahedron Lett. 2015 Jun 3;56(23):3441-3446.

Chemoenzymatic syntheses of water-soluble lipid I fluorescent probes.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 881 Madison Avenue, Memphis, TN 38163, USA.
Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 1200 E. California Bld. Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


Peptidoglycan (PG) is unique to bacteria, and thus, the enzymes responsible for its biosynthesis are promising antibacterial drug targets. The membrane-embedded enzymes in PG remain significant challenges in studying their mechanisms due to the fact that preparations of suitable enzymatic substrates require time-consuming biological transformations or chemical synthesis. Lipid I (prenyl diphosphoryl-MurNAc-pentapeptide) is an important PG biosynthesis intermediate to study the central enzymes, translocase I (MraY/MurX) and MurG. Lipid I isolated from nature contains the C50-or C55-prenyl unit that shows extremely poor water-solubility that renders studies of translocase I and MurG enzymes difficult. We have studied biological transformation of water soluble lipid I fluorescent probes using bacterial membrane fractions and purified MraY enzymes. In our investigation of the minimum structural requirements of the prenyl phosphates in MraY-catalyzed lipid I synthesis, we found that (2Z,6E)-farnesyl phosphate (C15-phosphate) can be recognized by E. coli MraY to generate the water-soluble lipid I fluorescent probes in high-yield. Under the optimized conditions, the same reaction was performed by using the purified MraY from Hydrogenivirga spp. to afford the lipid I analog with high-yield in a short reaction time.


Chemoenzymatic synthesis; Lipid I; Lipid II; MurG; Translocase I (MraY/MurX)

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