A price to pay for relaxed substrate specificity: a comparative kinetic analysis of the class II lanthipeptide synthetases ProcM and HalM2

J Am Chem Soc. 2014 Dec 17;136(50):17513-29. doi: 10.1021/ja5089452. Epub 2014 Dec 4.


Lanthipeptides are a class of ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptide natural products (RiPPs) that typically harbor multiple intramolecular thioether linkages. For class II lanthipeptides, these cross-links are installed in a multistep reaction pathway by a single enzyme (LanM). The multifunctional nature of LanMs and the manipulability of their genetically encoded peptide substrates (LanAs) make LanM/LanA systems promising targets for the engineering of new antibacterial compounds. Here, we report the development of a semiquantitative mass spectrometry-based assay for kinetic characterization of LanM-catalyzed reactions. The assay was used to conduct a comparative kinetic analysis of two LanM enzymes (HalM2 and ProcM) that exhibit drastically different substrate selectivity. Numerical simulation of the kinetic data was used to develop models for the multistep HalM2- and ProcM-catalyzed reactions. These models illustrate that HalM2 and ProcM have markedly different catalytic efficiencies for the various reactions they catalyze. HalM2, which is responsible for the biosynthesis of a single compound (the Halβ subunit of the lantibiotic haloduracin), catalyzes reactions with higher catalytic efficiency than ProcM, which modifies 29 different ProcA precursor peptides during prochlorosin biosynthesis. In particular, the rates of thioether ring formation are drastically reduced in ProcM, likely because this enzyme is charged with installing a variety of lanthipeptide ring architectures in its prochlorosin products. Thus, ProcM appears to pay a kinetic price for its relaxed substrate specificity. In addition, our kinetic models suggest that conformational sampling of the LanM/LanA Michaelis complex could play an important role in the kinetics of LanA maturation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Alanine / chemistry
  • Biological Assay
  • Kinetics
  • Ligases / chemistry*
  • Ligases / classification
  • Ligases / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Sulfides / chemistry*


  • Peptides
  • Sulfides
  • Ligases
  • lanthionine
  • Alanine