A Switch for the transfer of substrate between nonribosomal peptide and polyketide modules of the rifamycin synthetase assembly line

J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Nov 12;125(45):13664-5. doi: 10.1021/ja0379060.


A nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) loading module and a polyketide synthase (PKS) elongation module catalyze the preliminary steps in the biosynthesis of the rifamycin antibiotics. A benzoate molecule is covalently attached to the phosphopantetheine arm of the thiolation domain of the loading module when its reaction partner methylmalonyl-CoA is absent. Occupancy of the thiolation domain of the elongation module by a methylmalonyl moiety appears to trigger intermodular transfer of benzoate to the ketosynthase domain of the elongation module. This transthiolation event is fast relative to the initial loading of benzoate onto the loading module. It will be of interest to determine if these results are generally true for intermodular acyl transfer in other NRPS-PKS and PKS assembly lines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Benzoates / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Multienzyme Complexes / metabolism*
  • Peptide Synthases / metabolism*
  • Rifamycins / biosynthesis*
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Benzoates
  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Rifamycins
  • Peptide Synthases