• The bottromycin epimerase BotH defines a group of atypical α/β-hydrolase-fold enzymes.

      Sikandar, Asfandyar; Franz, Laura; Adam, Sebastian; Santos-Aberturas, Javier; Horbal, Liliya; Luzhetskyy, Andriy; Truman, Andrew W; Kalinina, Olga V; Koehnke, Jesko; HIPS, Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland, Universitätscampus E8.1 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. (Springer Nature, 2020-06-29)
      d-amino acids endow peptides with diverse, desirable properties, but the post-translational and site-specific epimerization of l-amino acids into their d-counterparts is rare and chemically challenging. Bottromycins are ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides that have overcome this challenge and feature a d-aspartate (d-Asp), which was proposed to arise spontaneously during biosynthesis. We have identified the highly unusual α/β-hydrolase (ABH) fold enzyme BotH as a peptide epimerase responsible for the post-translational epimerization of l-Asp to d-Asp during bottromycin biosynthesis. The biochemical characterization of BotH combined with the structures of BotH and the BotH–substrate complex allowed us to propose a mechanism for this reaction. Bioinformatic analyses of BotH homologs show that similar ABH enzymes are found in diverse biosynthetic gene clusters. This places BotH as the founding member of a group of atypical ABH enzymes that may be able to epimerize non-Asp stereocenters across different families of secondary metabolites.