Discovery of a cyclic phosphodiesterase that catalyzes the sequential hydrolysis of both ester bonds to phosphorus. Academic Article uri icon


  • The bacterial C-P lyase pathway is responsible for the metabolism of unactivated organophosphonates under conditions of phosphate starvation. The cleavage of the C-P bond within ribose-1-methylphosphonate-5-phosphate to form methane and 5-phospho-ribose-1,2-cyclic phosphate (PRcP) is catalyzed by the radical SAM enzyme PhnJ. In Escherichia coli the cyclic phosphate product is hydrolyzed to ribose-1,5-bisphosphate by PhnP. In this study, we describe the discovery and characterization of an enzyme that can hydrolyze a cyclic phosphodiester directly to a vicinal diol and inorganic phosphate. With PRcP, this enzyme hydrolyzes the phosphate ester at carbon-1 of the ribose moiety to form ribose-2,5-bisphosphate, and then this intermediate is hydrolyzed to ribose-5-phosphate and inorganic phosphate. Ribose-1,5-bisphosphate is neither an intermediate nor a substrate for this enzyme. Orthologues of this enzyme are found in the human pathogens Clostridium difficile and Eggerthella lenta. We propose that this enzyme be called cyclic phosphate dihydrolase (cPDH) and be designated as PhnPP.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

author list (cited authors)

  • Ghodge, S. V., Cummings, J. A., Williams, H. J., & Raushel, F. M.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Ghodge, Swapnil V||Cummings, Jennifer A||Williams, Howard J||Raushel, Frank M

publication date

  • October 2013