Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 27958669
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2017 Jan;56(3):762-766
Radical S-adenosyl methionine peptide epimerases (RSPEs) are an enzyme family that accomplishes regiospecific and irreversible introduction of multiple d-configured residues into ribosomally encoded peptides. Collectively, RSPEs can generate diverse epimerization patterns in a wide range of substrates. Previously, the lack of rapid methods to localize epimerized residues has impeded efforts to investigate the function and applicative potential of RSPEs. An efficient mass spectrometry-based assay is introduced that permits characterization of products generated in E. coli. Applying this to a range of non-natural peptide-epimerase combinations, it is shown that the d-amino acid pattern is largely but not exclusively dictated by the core peptide sequence, while the epimerization order is dependent on the enzyme-leader pair. RSPEs were found to be highly promiscuous, which allowed for modular introduction of peptide segments with defined patterns.