FeeM, an N-acyl amino acid synthase from an uncultured soil microbe: structure, mechanism, and acyl carrier protein binding.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Structure, Volume 14, Issue 9, p.1425-35 (2006)


Acyl Carrier Protein, Amino Acid Sequence, Crystallography, X-Ray, Ligases, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Protein Binding, Protein Conformation, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Soil Microbiology


<p>Attempts to access antibiotics by capturing biosynthetic genes and pathways directly from environmental DNA, which is overwhelmingly derived from uncultured bacteria, have revealed a large and previously unknown family of N-acyl amino acid synthases (NASs). The structure of the NAS FeeM reveals structural similarity to the GCN5-related N-acyl transferases and acylhomoserine lactone synthases. The overall structure has a central beta sheet with alpha helices on both sides. A bound product at a cleft in the beta sheet identifies the active site and the structural basis for catalysis, and sequence conservation in this region indicates a bias for recognition over speed. FeeM interacts with an acyl carrier protein (FeeL), and the structure, mutagenesis, and enzymatic measurements reveal that a small hydrophobic pocket in alpha helix 5 dominates binding of FeeM to FeeL. The structural and mechanistic analyses suggest that the products of FeeM could be bacterial signaling agents.</p>