Tryptophan 7-Halogenase (PrnA) Structure Suggests a Mechanism for Regioselective Chlorination
Dong C., Flecks S., Unversucht S., Haupt C., van Pée K-H., Naismith JH.
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.