Precursor Manipulation in Glycopeptide Antibiotic Biosynthesis: Are β-Amino Acids Compatible with the Oxidative Cyclization Cascade?

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Natural products such as the glycopeptide antibiotics (GPAs, including vancomycin and teicoplanin) are of great pharmaceutical importance due to their use against Gram-positive bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. GPAs are assembled in a complex process based on nonribosomal peptide synthesis and late-stage, multistep cross-linking of the linear heptapeptide performed by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases. These P450 enzymes demonstrate varying degrees of substrate selectivity toward the linear peptide precursor, with limited information available about their tolerance regarding modifications to amino acid residues within the essential antibiotic core of the GPA. In order to test the acceptance of altered residues by the P450-catalyzed cyclization cascade, we have explored the use of β-amino acids in both variable and highly conserved positions within GPA peptides. Our results indicate that the incorporation of β-amino acids at the C-terminus of the peptide leads to a dramatic reduction in the efficiency of peptide cyclization by the P450s during GPA biosynthesis, whereas replacement of residue 3 is well tolerated by the same enzymes. These results show that maintaining the C-terminal 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine residue is of key importance to maintain the efficiency of this complex and essential enzymatic cross-linking process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7206-7214
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018

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