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

Posttranslational modifications in microcin B17 define an additional class of DNA gyrase inhibitor.

Drugs that inhibit the activity of DNA gyrase fall almost exclusively into two structural classes, the quinolones and the coumarins. A third class of DNA gyrase inhibitor is defined by the ribosomally synthesized peptide antibiotic microcin B17 (MccB17). MccB17 contains 43 amino acid residues, but 14 of these are posttranslationally modified. Here we describe the characterization of the structure of these modifications. We propose that four cysteine and four serine side chains undergo condensation with the carbonyl group of the preceding residue, followed by alpha/beta dehydrogenation to yield four thiazole and four oxazole rings, respectively. The three proteins implicated in catalyzing these modifications (McbBCD) would constitute the only thiazole/oxazole biosynthetic enzymes identified. These results open up possibilities for the design of DNA gyrase inhibitors and add to the repertoire of posttranslational modifications with potential for protein engineering. Escherichia coli sbmA mutants, which lack the inner membrane protein ( SbmA) involved in MccB17 uptake, were found to be resistant to bleomycin. Bleomycin is structurally unrelated to MccB17 except for the fact that it contains two thiazole rings. This suggests that thiazole rings are part of the MccB17 structure recognized by SbmA. This observation and the finding that SbmA homologs are widely conserved and can play developmental roles [Glazebrook, J., Ichige, A. & Walker, G. C. (1993) Genes Dev. 7, 1485-1497] suggest that thiazole- and oxazole-containing compounds may serve as signaling molecules for a wide variety of bacteria in diverse environments, including pathogen interactions with plant and animal hosts.[1]


  1. Posttranslational modifications in microcin B17 define an additional class of DNA gyrase inhibitor. Yorgey, P., Lee, J., Kördel, J., Vivas, E., Warner, P., Jebaratnam, D., Kolter, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1994) [Pubmed]
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