Mechanistic Studies on CysS - A Vitamin B12-Dependent Radical SAM Methyltransferase Involved in the Biosynthesis of the tert-Butyl Group of Cystobactamid. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cobalamin (Cbl)-dependent radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) methyltransferases catalyze methylation reactions at non-nucleophilic centers in a wide range of substrates. CysS is a Cbl-dependent radical SAM methyltransferase involved in cystobactamid biosynthesis. This enzyme catalyzes the sequential methylation of a methoxy group to form ethoxy, i-propoxy, s-butoxy, and t-butoxy groups on a p-aminobenzoate peptidyl carrier protein thioester intermediate. This biosynthetic strategy enables the host myxobacterium to biosynthesize a combinatorial antibiotic library of 25 cystobactamid analogues. In this Article, we describe three experiments to elucidate how CysS uses Cbl, SAM, and a [4Fe-4S] cluster to catalyze iterative methylation reactions: a cyclopropylcarbinyl rearrangement was used to trap the substrate radical and to estimate the rate of the radical substitution reaction involved in the methyl transfer; a bromoethoxy analogue was used to explore the active site topography; and deuterium isotope effects on the hydrogen atom abstraction by the adenosyl radical were used to investigate the kinetic significance of the hydrogen atom abstraction. On the basis of these experiments, a revised mechanism for CysS is proposed.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

altmetric score

  • 5.08

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, Y., & Begley, T. P.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Yuanyou||Begley, Tadhg P

publication date

  • June 2020