Flavin-dependent halogenases involved in secondary metabolism in bacteria

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The understanding of biological halogenation has increased during the last few years. While haloperoxidases were the only halogenating enzymes known until 1997, it is now clear that haloperoxidases are hardly, if at all, involved in biosynthesis of more complex halogenated compounds in microorganisms. A novel type of halogenating enzymes, flavin-dependent halogenases, has been identified as a major player in the introduction of chloride and bromide into activated organic molecules. Flavin-dependent halogenases require the activity of a flavin reductase for the production of reduced flavin, required by the actual halogenase. A number of flavin-dependent tryptophan halogenases have been investigated in some detail, and the first three-dimensional structure of a member of this enzyme subfamily, tryptophan 7-halogenase, has been elucidated. This structure suggests a mechanism involving the formation of hypohalous acid, which is used inside the enzyme for regioselective halogenation of the respective substrate. The introduction of halogen atoms into non-activated alkyl groups is catalysed by non-heme FeII α-ketoglutarate- and O2-dependent halogenases. Examples for the use of flavin-dependent halogenases for the formation of novel halogenated compounds in in vitro and in vivo reactions promise a bright future for the application of biological halogenation reactions.

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