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J Biol Chem. 1987 Jan 15;262(2):513-5.

Synthesis of 7-mercaptoheptanoylthreonine phosphate and its activity in the methylcoenzyme M methylreductase system.


The structure of component B of the methylcoenzyme M methylreductase of Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum was recently assigned as 7-mercaptoheptanoylthreonine phosphate (HS-HTP) (Noll, K. M., Rinehart, K. L., Jr., Tanner, R.S., and Wolfe, R.S. (1986) (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 83, 4238-4242). We report here the chemical synthesis and biochemical activity of this compound. Thiourea and 7-bromoheptanoic acid were used to to synthesize 7,7'-dithiodiheptanoic acid. This disulfide was then condensed with DL-threonine phosphate using N-hydroxysuccinimide and dicyclohexylcarbodiimide. The product was reduced with dithiothreitol to give HS-HTP. It could be oxidized in air in the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol to give the compound as it was isolated from cell extracts. The resulting product was identical to the authentic compound by 1H NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and coelution using high performance liquid chromatography. The synthetic compound is active in the in vitro methanogenic assay at concentrations comparable to the authentic compound. This confirms the structure of component B as HS-HTP and provides a means to synthesize quantities sufficient for studies of the methylreductase system.

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