John A.L. McIntosh

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Ribosomally synthesized bacterial natural products rival the nonribosomal peptides in their structural and functional diversity. The last decade has seen substantial progress in the identification and characterization of biosynthetic pathways leading to ribosomal peptide natural products with new and unusual structural motifs. In some of these cases, the(More)
Cyanobactins, a class of ribosomally encoded macrocylic natural products, are biosynthesized through the proteolytic processing and subsequent N-C macrocylization of ribosomal peptide precursors. Macrocylization occurs through a two-step process in which the first protease (PatA) removes the amino terminal flanking sequence from the precursor to yield a(More)
To date, efforts to switch the cofactor specificity of oxidoreductases from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) have been made on a case-by-case basis with varying degrees of success. Here we present a straightforward recipe for altering the cofactor specificity of a class of NADPH-dependent(More)
Engineering enzymes with novel reaction modes promises to expand the applications of biocatalysis in chemical synthesis and will enhance our understanding of how enzymes acquire new functions. The insertion of nitrogen-containing functional groups into unactivated C-H bonds is not catalyzed by known enzymes but was recently demonstrated using engineered(More)
The enzymatic basis of ribosomal peptide natural product prenylation has not been reported. Here, we characterize a prenyltransferase, LynF, from the TruF enzyme family. LynF is the first characterized representative of the TruF protein family, which is responsible for both reverse- and forward-O-prenylation of tyrosine, serine, and threonine in cyclic(More)
Natural products that contain amino-acid-derived (Cys, Ser, Thr) heterocycles are ubiquitous in nature, yet key aspects of their biosynthesis remain undefined. Cyanobactins are heterocyclic ribosomal peptide natural products from cyanobacteria, including symbiotic bacteria living with marine ascidians. In contrast to other ribosomal peptide heterocyclases(More)
The cyanobactin biosynthetic pathways pat and tru, isolated from metagenomes of marine animals, lead to diverse natural products containing heterocycles derived from Cys, Ser, and Thr. Previous work has shown that PatD and TruD are extremely broad-substrate heterocyclase enzymes. These enzymes are virtually identical in their N-terminal putative catalytic(More)
Advances in protein and metabolic engineering have led to wider use of enzymes to synthesize important molecules. However, many desirable transformations are not catalyzed by any known enzyme, driving interest in understanding how new enzymes can be created. The cytochrome P450 enzyme family, whose members participate in xenobiotic metabolism and natural(More)
We report 12 cyanobactin cyclic peptides, the aestuaramides, from the cultivated cyanobacterium Lyngbya aestuarii. We show that aestuaramides are synthesized enzymatically as reverse O-prenylated tyrosine ethers that subsequently undergo a Claisen rearrangement to produce forward C-prenylated tyrosine. These results reveal that a nonenzymatic Claisen(More)
One of the greatest challenges in protein design is creating new enzymes, something evolution does all the time, starting from existing ones. Borrowing from nature's evolutionary strategy, we have engineered a bacterial cytochrome P450 to catalyze highly enantioselective intermolecular aziridination, a synthetically useful reaction that has no natural(More)