New Role for Radical SAM Enzymes in the Biosynthesis of Thio(seleno)oxazole RiPP Natural Products

Julia K. Lewis, Andrew S. Jochimsen, Sarah J. Lefave, Anthony P. Young, William M. Kincannon, Andrew G. Roberts, Matthew T. Kieber-Emmons, Vahe Bandarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Ribosomally synthesized post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are ubiquitous and represent a structurally diverse class of natural products. The ribosomally encoded precursor polypeptides are often extensively modified post-translationally by enzymes that are encoded by coclustered genes. Radical S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) enzymes catalyze numerous chemically challenging transformations. In RiPP biosynthetic pathways, these transformations include the formation of C-H, C-C, C-S, and C-O linkages. In this paper, we show that the Geobacter lovleyi sbtM gene encodes a radical SAM protein, SbtM, which catalyzes the cyclization of a Cys/SeCys residue in a minimal peptide substrate. Biochemical studies of this transformation support a mechanism involving H-atom abstraction at the C-3 of the substrate Cys to initiate the chemistry. Several possible cyclization products were considered. The collective biochemical, spectroscopic, mass spectral, and computational observations point to a thiooxazole as the product of the SbtM-catalyzed modification. To our knowledge, this is the first example of a radical SAM enzyme that catalyzes a transformation involving a SeCys-containing peptide and represents a new paradigm for formation of oxazole-containing RiPP natural products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3347-3361
Number of pages15
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 16 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'New Role for Radical SAM Enzymes in the Biosynthesis of Thio(seleno)oxazole RiPP Natural Products'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this