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Preview: Nature Chemical Biology - AOP - nature.com science feeds

Nature Chemical Biology - AOP - nature.com science feeds



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Chromatin biology: Breaking into the PRC2 cage

2017-01-30

New small-molecule inhibitors of the histone methyltransferase PRC2 interfere with the allosteric activation of enzymatic activity. These compounds are effective against PRC2-dependent tumors that are resistant to catalytic inhibitors and provide important new tools for altering chromatin regulation.



Decoding cyclase-dependent assembly of hapalindole and fischerindole alkaloids

2017-03-13

The formation of C–C bonds in an enantioselective fashion to create complex polycyclic scaffolds in the hapalindole- and fischerindole- type alkaloids from Stigonematales cyanobacteria represents a compelling and urgent challenge in adapting microbial biosynthesis as a catalytic platform in drug development. Here we determine the biochemical basis for tri- and tetracyclic core formation in these secondary metabolites, involving a new class of cyclases that catalyze a complex cyclization cascade.



A fully automated flow-based approach for accelerated peptide synthesis

2017-02-28

Here we report a fully automated, flow-based approach to solid-phase polypeptide synthesis, with amide bond formation in 7 seconds and total synthesis times of 40 seconds per amino acid residue. Crude peptide purities and isolated yields were comparable to those for standard-batch solid-phase peptide synthesis. At full capacity, this approach can yield tens of thousands of individual 30-mer peptides per year.



Engineering fatty acid synthases for directed polyketide production

2017-02-20

In this study, we engineered fatty acid synthases (FAS) for the biosynthesis of short-chain fatty acids and polyketides, guided by a combined in vitro and in silico approach. Along with exploring the synthetic capability of FAS, we aim to build a foundation for efficient protein engineering, with the specific goal of harnessing evolutionarily related megadalton-scale polyketide synthases (PKS) for the tailored production of bioactive natural compounds.



Ligand-promoted protein folding by biased kinetic partitioning

2017-02-20

Protein folding in cells occurs in the presence of high concentrations of endogenous binding partners, and exogenous binding partners have been exploited as pharmacological chaperones. A combined mathematical modeling and experimental approach shows that a ligand improves the folding of a destabilized protein by biasing the kinetic partitioning between folding and alternative fates (aggregation or degradation). Computationally predicted inhibition of test protein aggregation and degradation as a function of ligand concentration are validated by experiments in two disparate cellular systems.



Expanding the product portfolio of fungal type I fatty acid synthases

2017-02-20

Fungal type I fatty acid synthases (FASs) are mega-enzymes with two separated, identical compartments, in which the acyl carrier protein (ACP) domains shuttle substrates to catalytically active sites embedded in the chamber wall. We devised synthetic FASs by integrating heterologous enzymes into the reaction chambers and demonstrated their capability to convert acyl-ACP or acyl-CoA from canonical fatty acid biosynthesis to short/medium-chain fatty acids and methyl ketones.



Structure and specificity of a permissive bacterial C-prenyltransferase

2017-02-06

This study highlights the biochemical and structural characterization of the L-tryptophan C6 C-prenyltransferase (C-PT) PriB from Streptomyces sp. RM-5-8. PriB was found to be uniquely permissive to a diverse array of prenyl donors and acceptors including daptomycin. Two additional PTs also produced novel prenylated daptomycins with improved antibacterial activities over the parent drug.