Structure and Function of a Dehydrating Condensation Domain in Nonribosomal Peptide Biosynthesis.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Am Chem Soc, Volume 144, Issue 31, p.14057-14070 (2022)


<p>Dehydroamino acids are important structural motifs and biosynthetic intermediates for natural products. Many bioactive natural products of nonribosomal origin contain dehydroamino acids; however, the biosynthesis of dehydroamino acids in most nonribosomal peptides is not well understood. Here, we provide biochemical and bioinformatic evidence in support of the role of a unique class of condensation domains in dehydration (C). We also obtain the crystal structure of a C domain, which is part of the nonribosomal peptide synthetase AmbE in the biosynthesis of the antibiotic methoxyvinylglycine. Biochemical analysis reveals that AmbE-C modifies a peptide substrate that is attached to the donor carrier protein. Mutational studies of AmbE-C identify several key residues for activity, including four residues that are mostly conserved in the C subfamily. Alanine mutation of these conserved residues either significantly increases or decreases AmbE activity. AmbE exhibits a dimeric conformation, which is uncommon and could enable transfer of an intermediate between different protomers. Our discovery highlights a central dehydrating function for C domains that unifies dehydroamino acid biosynthesis in diverse nonribosomal peptide pathways. Our work also begins to shed light on the mechanism of C domains. Understanding C domain function may facilitate identification of new natural products that contain dehydroamino acids and enable engineering of dehydroamino acids into nonribosomal peptides.</p>