Radical Breakthroughs in Natural Product and Cofactor Biosynthesis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

The radical SAM (S-adenosyl-l-methionine) superfamily is one of the largest group of enzymes with >113000 annotated sequences [Landgraf, B. J., et al. (2016) Annu. Rev. Biochem. 85, 485-514]. Members of this superfamily catalyze the reductive cleavage of SAM using an oxygen sensitive 4Fe-4S cluster to transiently generate 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical that is subsequently used to initiate diverse free radical-mediated reactions. Because of the unique reactivity of free radicals, radical SAM enzymes frequently catalyze chemically challenging reactions critical for the biosynthesis of unique structures of cofactors and natural products. In this Perspective, I will discuss the impact of characterizing novel functions in radical SAM enzymes on our understanding of biosynthetic pathways and use two recent examples from my own group with a particular emphasis on two radical SAM enzymes that are responsible for carbon skeleton formation during the biosynthesis of a cofactor and natural products.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Yokoyama, K

Published Date

  • January 30, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 57 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 390 - 402

PubMed ID

  • 29072833

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5790616

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-4995

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00878


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States