Nature Chemical Biology

Hints of hidden chemistry ()
Biosynthetic pathways harbor diverse enzyme functions, and identifying those that catalyze unusual or synthetically challenging transformations offers new routes for biocatalytic development.
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Neurodegenerative disease: Not stuck on repeat ()

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Enzymology: Tracking off-targets ()

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Antibacterials: PUMmeling RNAP ()

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Biocatalysis: Achieving aminase activity ()

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Redox regulation: Scaffolding H2O2 signaling ()
Peroxidases, rather than simply reducing H2O2 to water, also convey oxidation signals to proteins such as transcription factors. A new study reveals how a scaffold protein enables formation of a mixed disulfide between the peroxidase and a transcription factor.
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Structural biology: Full monty of family B GPCRs ()
New structures of the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucagon receptors in complex with peptide and nonpeptide ligands provide a comprehensive, detailed picture of the molecular mechanisms of action of family B GPCRs. This opens the door for true structure-based drug discovery aimed at both novel orthosteric and allosteric subsites of the receptors.
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Biosynthesis: Methylating mushrooms ()
The genome of the poisonous mushroom Omphalotus olearius provides a potent new biocatalytic strategy for installing backbone N-methyl amides on ribosomally synthesized peptides. This discovery could yield new biotechnologies for drug development from peptide macrocycles.
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Harnessing yeast organelles for metabolic engineering ()

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Autocatalytic backbone N-methylation in a family of ribosomal peptide natural products ()
Peptide backbone N-methylation, as seen in cyclosporin A, has been considered to be exclusive to nonribosomal peptides. We have identified the first post-translationally modified peptide or protein harboring internal α-N-methylations through discovery of the genetic locus for the omphalotins, cyclic N-methylated peptides produced by the fungus Omphalotus olearius. We show that iterative autocatalytic activity of an N-methyltransferase fused to its peptide substrate is the signature of a new family of ribosomally encoded metabolites.
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A heme-dependent enzyme forms the nitrogen–nitrogen bond in piperazate ()
Molecules containing a nitrogen–nitrogen (N–N) linkage have a variety of structures and biological activities; however, no enzyme has yet been demonstrated to catalyze N–N bond formation in an organic molecule. Here we report that the heme-dependent enzyme KtzT from Kutzneria sp. 744 catalyzes N–N bond formation in the biosynthesis of piperazate, a building block for nonribosomal peptides.
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Cpf1 proteins excise CRISPR RNAs from mRNA transcripts in mammalian cells ()
Cpf1 is a CRISPR effector protein that has greater specificity than Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (SpCas9) in genome-editing applications. Here we show that Lachnospiraceae bacterium (Lb) and Acidaminococus sp. (As) Cpf1 orthologs have RNase activities that can excise multiple CRISPR RNAs (crRNAs) from a single RNA polymerase II–driven RNA transcript expressed in mammalian cells. This property simplifies modification of multiple genomic targets and can be used to increase the efficiency of Cpf1-mediated editing.
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Site-specific incorporation of phosphotyrosine using an expanded genetic code ()
Access to phosphoproteins with stoichiometric and site-specific phosphorylation status is key to understanding the role of protein phosphorylation. Here we report an efficient method to generate pure, active phosphotyrosine-containing proteins by genetically encoding a stable phosphotyrosine analog that is convertible to native phosphotyrosine. We demonstrate its general compatibility with proteins of various sizes, phosphotyrosine sites and functions, and reveal a possible role of tyrosine phosphorylation in negative regulation of ubiquitination.
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Genetically encoding phosphotyrosine and its nonhydrolyzable analog in bacteria ()

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Blocking an N-terminal acetylation–dependent protein interaction inhibits an E3 ligase ()

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Parallel evolution of non-homologous isofunctional enzymes in methionine biosynthesis ()

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Activity-based probes for functional interrogation of retaining β-glucuronidases ()

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A front-face 'SNi synthase' engineered from a retaining 'double-SN2' hydrolase ()

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A mutant O-GlcNAcase enriches Drosophila developmental regulators ()

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Oxidation of phosphorothioate DNA modifications leads to lethal genomic instability ()

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A scalable platform to identify fungal secondary metabolites and their gene clusters ()

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Nucleation and growth of a bacterial functional amyloid at single-fiber resolution ()

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A scaffold protein that chaperones a cysteine-sulfenic acid in H2O2 signaling ()

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A new strategy for aromatic ring alkylation in cylindrocyclophane biosynthesis ()

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Erratum: Structural and conformational determinants of macrocycle cell permeability ()

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Erratum: The EED protein–protein interaction inhibitor A-395 inactivates the PRC2 complex ()

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