Structural basis for stereoselective dehydration and hydrogen-bonding catalysis by the SAM-dependent pericyclase LepI.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-019-0294-x
LepI is an S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)-dependent pericyclase that catalyses the formation of the 2-pyridone natural product leporin C. Biochemical characterization has shown that LepI can catalyse stereoselective dehydration to yield a reactive (E)-quinone methide that can undergo bifurcating intramolecular Diels-Alder (IMDA) and hetero-Diels-Alder (HDA) cyclizations from an ambimodal transition state, as well as a [3,3]-retro-Claisen rearrangement to recycle the IMDA product into leporin C. Here, we solve the X-ray crystal structures of SAM-bound LepI and in complex with a substrate analogue, the product leporin C, and a retro-Claisen reaction transition-state analogue to understand the structural basis for the multitude of reactions. Structural and mutational analysis reveals how nature evolves a classic methyltransferase active site into one that can serve as a dehydratase and a multifunctional pericyclase. Catalysis of both sets of reactions employs H133 and R295, two active-site residues that are not found in canonical methyltransferases. An alternative role of SAM, which is not found to be in direct contact with the substrate, is also proposed.