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1.  Structural basis for the promiscuous biosynthetic prenylation of aromatic natural products 
Nature  2005;435(7044):983-987.
The anti-oxidant naphterpin is a natural product containing a polyketide-based aromatic core with an attached 10-carbon geranyl group derived from isoprenoid (terpene) metabolism1–3. Hybrid natural products such as naphterpin that contain 5-carbon (dimethylallyl), 10-carbon (geranyl) or 15-carbon (farnesyl) isoprenoid chains possess biological activities distinct from their non-prenylated aromatic precursors4. These hybrid natural products represent new anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer compounds. A small number of aromatic prenyltransferases (PTases) responsible for prenyl group attachment have only recently been isolated and characterized5,6. Here we report the gene identification, biochemical characterization and high-resolution X-ray crystal structures of an architecturally novel aromatic PTase, Orf2 from Streptomyces sp. strain CL190, with substrates and substrate analogues bound. In vivo, Orf2 attaches a geranyl group to a 1,3,6,8-tetra-hydroxynaphthalene-derived polyketide during naphterpin biosynthesis. In vitro, Orf2 catalyses carbon–carbon-based and carbon–oxygen-based prenylation of a diverse collection of hydroxyl-containing aromatic acceptors of synthetic, microbial and plant origin. These crystal structures, coupled with in vitro assays, provide a basis for understanding and potentially manipulating the regio-specific prenylation of aromatic small molecules using this structurally unique family of aromatic PTases.
PMCID: PMC2874460  PMID: 15959519
2.  A Soluble, magnesium-independent prenyltransferase catalyzes reverse and regular C-prenylations and O-prenylations of aromatic substrates 
FEBS letters  2007;581(16):2889-2893.
Fnq26 from Streptomyces cinnamonensis DSM 1042 is a new member of the recently identified CloQ/Orf2 class of prenyltransferases. The enzyme was overexpressed in E. coli and purified to apparent homogeneity, resulting in a soluble, monomeric protein of 33.2 kDa. The catalytic activity of Fnq26 is independent of the presence of Mg2+ or other divalent metal ions. With flaviolin (2,5,7-trihydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) as substrate, Fnq26 catalyzes the formation of a carbon–carbon-bond between C-3 (rather than C-1) of geranyl diphosphate and C-3 of flaviolin, i.e. an unusual ‘‘reverse’’ prenylation. With 1,3-dihydroxynaphthalene and 4-hydroxybenzoate as substrates Fnq26 catalyzes O-prenylations.
PMCID: PMC2860617  PMID: 17543953
Prenyltransferase; Reverse prenylation; Furanonaphthoquinone; Streptomyces
3.  Chemoenzymatic syntheses of prenylated aromatic small molecules using Streptomyces prenyltransferases with relaxed substrate specificities 
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry  2008;16(17):8117-8126.
NphB is a soluble prenyltransferase from Streptomyces sp. strain CL190 that attaches a geranyl group to a 1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynaphthalene-derived polyketide during the biosynthesis of anti-oxidant naphterpin. Here we report multiple chemoenzymatic syntheses of various prenylated compounds from aromatic substrates including flavonoids using two prenyltransferases NphB and SCO7190, a NphB homolog from Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), as biocatalysts. NphB catalyzes carbon–carbon-based and carbon–oxygen-based geranylation of a diverse collection of hydroxyl-containing aromatic acceptors. Thus, this simple method using the prenyltransferases can be used to explore novel prenylated aromatic compounds with biological activities. Kinetic studies with NphB reveal that the prenylation reaction follows a sequential ordered mechanism.
PMCID: PMC2860626  PMID: 18682327
Enzyme catalysis; Prenylation; Flavonoid; Polyketide; Kinetics
4.  Absence of Substrate Channeling between Active Sites in the Agrobacterium tumefaciens IspDF and IspE Enzymes of the Methyl Erythritol Phosphate Pathway† 
Biochemistry  2006;45(11):3548-3553.
The conversion of 2C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) to 2C-methyl-d-erythritol 2,4-cyclodiphosphate (cMEDP) in the MEP entry into the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway occurs in three consecutive steps catalyzed by the IspD, IspE, and IspF enzymes, respectively. In Agrobacterium tumefaciens the ispD and ispF genes are fused to encode a bifunctional enzyme that catalyzes the first (synthesis of 4-diphosphocytidyl-2-C-methyl d-erythritol) and third (synthesis of 2C-methyl-d-erythritol 2,4-cyclodiphosphate) steps. Sedimentation velocity experiments indicate that the bifunctional IspDF enzyme and the IspE protein associate in solution raising the possibility of substrate channeling among the active sites in these two proteins. Kinetic evidence for substrate channeling was sought by measuring the time courses for product formation during incubations of MEP, CTP, and ATP with the IspDF and IspE proteins with and without an excess of the inactive IspE (D152A) mutant in presence or absence of 30% (v/v) glycerol. The time dependencies indicate that the enzyme-generated intermediates are not transferred from the IspD active site in IspDF to the active site of IspE or from the active site in IspE to the active site in the IspF module of IspDF.
PMCID: PMC2516919  PMID: 16533036
bifunctional; IspDF; IspE; non-channeling

Results 1-4 (4)