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Structural Basis for Stereoselective Dehydration and Hydrogen-Bonding Catalysis by the SAM-Dependent Pericyclase LepI

By Yujuan Cai, Yang Hai, Masao Ohashi, Cooper S. Jamieson, Marc Garcia-BorrĂ s, K. N. Houk, Jiahai Zhou, Yi Tang

Posted 10 Dec 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/491761 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41557-019-0294-x)

LepI is an S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)-dependent pericyclase that catalyzes the formation of 2-pyridone natural product leporin C. Biochemical characterization showed LepI can catalyze the stereoselective dehydration to yield a reactive (E)-quinone methide which can undergo a bifurcating intramolecular Diels-Alder (IMDA) and hetero-Diels-Alder (HDA) cyclization from an ambimodal transition state, and a [3,3]-retro-Claisen rearrangement to recycle the IMDA product into leporin C. Here we solved the X-ray crystal structures of SAM-bound LepI, and in complex with a substrate analog, the product leporin C, and a retro-Claisen reaction transition-state analog to understand the structural basis for the multitude of reactions. Structural and mutational analysis revealed 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 employ His133 and Arg295, 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 of the substrate, is also proposed.

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