"Structure-guided discovery of the metabolite carboxy-SAM that modulates tRNA function."

Kim J, Xiao H, Bonanno JB, Kalyanaraman C, Brown S, Tang X, Al-Obaidi NF, Patskovsky Y, Babbitt PC, Jacobson MP, Lee YS, Almo SC...

Published 2013-05-15 in Nature .

Pubmed ID: 23676670
DOI identifier: -

The identification of novel metabolites and the characterization of their biological functions are major challenges in biology. X-ray crystallography can reveal unanticipated ligands that persist through purification and crystallization. These adventitious protein-ligand complexes provide insights into new activities, pathways and regulatory mechanisms. We describe a new metabolite, carboxy-S-adenosyl-l-methionine (Cx-SAM), its biosynthetic pathway and its role in transfer RNA modification. The structure of CmoA, a member of the SAM-dependent methyltransferase superfamily, revealed a ligand consistent with Cx-SAM in the catalytic site. Mechanistic analyses showed an unprecedented role for prephenate as the carboxyl donor and the involvement of a unique ylide intermediate as the carboxyl acceptor in the CmoA-mediated conversion of SAM to Cx-SAM. A second member of the SAM-dependent methyltransferase superfamily, CmoB, recognizes Cx-SAM and acts as a carboxymethyltransferase to convert 5-hydroxyuridine into 5-oxyacetyl uridine at the wobble position of multiple tRNAs in Gram-negative bacteria, resulting in expanded codon-recognition properties. CmoA and CmoB represent the first documented synthase and transferase for Cx-SAM. These findings reveal new functional diversity in the SAM-dependent methyltransferase superfamily and expand the metabolic and biological contributions of SAM-based biochemistry. These discoveries highlight the value of structural genomics approaches in identifying ligands within the context of their physiologically relevant macromolecular binding partners, and in revealing their functions.

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Last modification of this entry: May 25, 2013