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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Repurposing the GNAT Fold in the Initiation of Polyketide Biosynthesis.

  • Author(s): Skiba, Meredith A
  • Tran, Collin L
  • Dan, Qingyun
  • Sikkema, Andrew P
  • Klaver, Zachary
  • Gerwick, William H
  • Sherman, David H
  • Smith, Janet L
  • et al.

Natural product biosynthetic pathways are replete with enzymes repurposed for new catalytic functions. In some modular polyketide synthase (PKS) pathways, a GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase (GNAT)-like enzyme with an additional decarboxylation function initiates biosynthesis. Here, we probe two PKS GNAT-like domains for the dual activities of S-acyl transfer from coenzyme A (CoA) to an acyl carrier protein (ACP) and decarboxylation. The GphF and CurA GNAT-like domains selectively decarboxylate substrates that yield the anticipated pathway starter units. The GphF enzyme lacks detectable acyl transfer activity, and a crystal structure with an isobutyryl-CoA product analog reveals a partially occluded acyltransfer acceptor site. Further analysis indicates that the CurA GNAT-like domain also catalyzes only decarboxylation, and the initial acyl transfer is catalyzed by an unidentified enzyme. Thus, PKS GNAT-like domains are re-classified as GNAT-like decarboxylases. Two other decarboxylases, malonyl-CoA decarboxylase and EryM, reside on distant nodes of the superfamily, illustrating the adaptability of the GNAT fold.

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