Radical SAM-mediated methylation reactions.

Radical SAM-mediated methylation reactions. Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2013 Jul 5; Authors: Fujimori DG Abstract A subset of enzymes that belong to the radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) superfamily is able to catalyze methylation reactions. Substrates of these enzymes are distinct from the nucleophilic substrates that undergo methylation by a polar mechanism. Recently, activities of several radical SAM methylating enzymes have been reconstituted in vitro and their mechanisms of catalysis investigated. The RNA modifying enzymes RlmN and Cfr catalyze methylation via a methyl synthase mechanism. These enzymes use SAM in two distinct roles: as a source of a methyl group transferred to a conserved cysteine and as a source of 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical (5'-dA). Hydrogen atom abstraction by this species generates a thiomethylene radical which adds into the RNA substrate, forming an enzyme-substrate covalent adduct. In another recent study, methylation of the indole moiety of tryptophan by the radical SAM and cobalamin-binding domain enzyme TsrM has been reconstituted. Methylcobalamin serves as an intermediate methyl donor in TsrM, and is proposed to transfer the methyl group as a methyl radical. Interestingly, despite the presence of the radical SAM motif, no reductive cleavage of SAM has been observed in this methylation. These important reconstitutions set the stage for further studies on mechanisms of radical methylation. PMID: 23835516 [PubMed - as supplied by pub...
Source: Current Opinion in Chemical Biology - Category: Biochemistry Authors: Tags: Curr Opin Chem Biol Source Type: research

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