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Chlorinated natural products include vancomycin and cryptophycin A. Their biosynthesis involves regioselective chlorination by flavin-dependent halogenases. We report the structural characterization of tryptophan 7-halogenase (PrnA), which regioselectively chlorinates tryptophan. Tryptophan and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) are separated by a 10 angstrom–long tunnel and bound by distinct enzyme modules. The FAD module is conserved in halogenases and is related to flavin-dependent monooxygenases. On the basis of biochemical studies, crystal structures, and by analogy with monooxygenases, we predict that FADH 2 reacts with O 2 to make peroxyflavin, which is decomposed by Cl – . The resulting HOCl is guided through the tunnel to tryptophan, where it is activated to participate in electrophilic aromatic substitution.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1116510

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publisher

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Publication Date

30/09/2005

Volume

309

Pages

2216 - 2219