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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Presence of D-alanine in an endopeptidase from Streptococcus pyogenes.

D-amino acids are commonly found in peptide antibiotics and the cell wall peptidoglycan of bacterial cell walls but have not been identified in proteins or enzymes. Here we report the presence of 6-7 A-alanine residues in an endopeptidase of Streptococcus pyogenes, a unique enzyme involved in surface protein attachment that we term LPXTGase. Using D-amino acid oxidase coupled with catalase for the deamination of D-alanine to pyruvic acid (a conversion unique to D-alanine), we were able to identify [14C]pyruvic acid in a [14C]alanine-labeled preparation of purified LPXTGase, which represents 27% of the amino acid composition. Because D-amino acids are not accommodated in ribosomal peptide synthesis, these results suggest that the same process used in assembling peptide antibiotics or a yet unidentified mechanism may synthesize the core protein of this endopeptidase.[1]


  1. Presence of D-alanine in an endopeptidase from Streptococcus pyogenes. Lee, S.G., Fischetti, V.A. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
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