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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Renewable Product Technology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #272856

Title: Tunicamycins: translocase-I inhibitors that target bacterial cell wall and mammalian N-glycoproteins

item Price, Neil

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/17/2011
Publication Date: 10/17/2011
Citation: Price, N.P. 2011. Tunicamycins: translocase-I inhibitors that target bacterial cell wall and mammalian N-glycoproteins [abstract]. Shanghai Jiao Tong University & Wuhan University, China. p. 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Tunicamycins, streptovirudins, and corynetoxins are natural products that target the biosynthesis of bacterial peptidoglycan and eukaryotic N-glycoproteins. The mechanism of action is known, with the tunicamycin-Mg**2+ complex established as a transition state analog for hexosamine-1-phosphate:prenol phosphate translocases. Hence, this inhibits the formation of N-acetylmuramyl-undecanol pyrophosphate in bacteria or N-acetylglucosamine-dolichol pyrophosphate in eukaryotes, which are essential intermediates in these organisms. We have investigated the biosynthesis of the tunicamycins by certain streptomyces species, and have proposed a pathway in which the 11-carbon dialdose sugar, tunicamine, is derived from uridine and N-acetylglucosamine. Once formed the uridyl-tunicaminyl intermediate is a,ß-1,11-glycosylated and N-acylated to form the bioactive compounds prior to secretion. Using heterologous expression we have identified twelve tun genes (tunA – tunL) responsible for tunicamycin biosynthesis in the producing organisms Streptomyces chartreusis and S. clavuligerus. Amongst these is a putative radical SAM enzyme (TunB) with a potentially unique role in biosynthetic carbon-carbon bond formation, and an unusual glycosyltransferase involved in the formation of the anomeric-to-anomeric a,ß-1,11-glycosidic bond. Hence, a biosynthetic pathway is proposed for tunicamycin biosynthesis which may be useful for the design of new tunicamycin analogs with selective/enhanced translocase specificity.