Deciphering Deazapurine Biosynthesis: Pathway for Pyrrolopyrimidine Nucleosides Toyocamycin and Sangivamycin

Reid M. McCarty, Vahe Bandarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Pyrrolopyrimidine nucleosides analogs, collectively referred to as deazapurines, are an important class of structurally diverse compounds found in a wide variety of biological niches. In this report, a cluster of genes from Streptomyces rimosus (ATCC 14673) involved in production of the deazapurine antibiotics sangivamycin and toyocamycin was identified. The cluster includes toyocamycin nitrile hydratase, an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of toyocamycin to sangivamycin. In addition to this rare nitrile hydratase, the cluster encodes a GTP cyclohydrolase I, linking the biosynthesis of deazapurines to folate biosynthesis, and a set of purine salvage/biosynthesis genes, which presumably convert the guanine moiety from GTP to the adenine-like deazapurine base found in toyocamycin and sangivamycin. The gene cluster presented here could potentially serve as a model to allow identification of deazapurine biosynthetic pathways in other bacterial species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-798
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 25 2008



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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