GliP, a Multimodular Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase in Aspergillus fumigatus, Makes the Diketopiperazine Scaffold of Gliotoxin.


Balibar CJ, Walsh CT.

Date: 21 December 2006


The fungal metabolite gliotoxin has a redox-active disulfide bridge spanning carbons 3 and 6 of a diketopiperazine (DKP) scaffold. The proposed DKP synthetase, GliP, from Aspergillus fumigatus Af293, is a three module (A1-T1-C1-A2-T2-C2-T3) 236 kDa protein that can be overproduced in soluble form in Escherichia coli. Once primed on its three thiolation domains with phosphopantetheine prosthetic groups, GliP activates and tethers l-Phe on T1 and l-Ser on T2, before generating the l-Phe-l-Ser-S-T2 dipeptidyl enzyme intermediate. Release of the dipeptide as the cyclic DKP happens slowly both in wild-type GliP and in enzyme forms where C2 and T3 have been mutationally inactivated. The lack of a thioesterase domain in GliP may account both for the slow release and for the directed fate of intramolecular cyclization to create the DKP scaffold for subsequent elaboration to gliotoxin.

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