Using peptide substrate analogs to characterize a radical intermediate in NosN catalysis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Nosiheptide is a ribosomally produced and post-translationally modified thiopeptide antibiotic that displays potent antibacterial activity in vitro, especially against Gram-positive pathogens. It comprises a core peptide macrocycle that contains multiple thiazole rings, dehydrated serine and threonine residues, a tri-substituted 3-hydroxypyridine ring and several other modifications. Among these additional modifications includes a 3,4-dimethyl-2-indolic acid (DMIA) moiety that bridges Glu6 and Cys8 of the core peptide to form a second smaller ring system. This side-ring system is formed by the action of NosN, a radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) enzyme that falls within the class C radical SAM methylase (RSMT) family. However, the true function of NosN is to transfer a methylene group from the methyl moiety of SAM to C4 of 3-methylindolic acid (MIA) attached in a thioester linkage to Cys8 of the core peptide to set up a highly electrophilic species. This species is then trapped by the side chain of Glu6, resulting in formation of a lactone and the side-ring system. The NosN reaction requires two simultaneously bound molecules of SAM. The first, SAMI, is cleaved to generate a 5′-deoxyadenosyl 5′-radical, which abstracts a hydrogen atom from the methyl group of the second molecule of SAM, SAMII. The resulting SAMII radical is believed to add to C4 of MIA, affording a radical intermediate on the MIA substrate. Herein we describe synthetic approaches that allow detection of this radical by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Biomolecular EPR
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages19
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Publication series

NameMethods in Enzymology
ISSN (Print)0076-6879
ISSN (Electronic)1557-7988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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