Redox Coenzyme F 420 Biosynthesis in Thermomicrobia Involves Reduction by Stand-Alone Nitroreductase Superfamily Enzymes

Braga D, Hasan H, Kröber T, Last D, Lackner G (2020) Redox Coenzyme F 420 Biosynthesis in Thermomicrobia Involves Reduction by Stand-Alone Nitroreductase Superfamily Enzymes Appl Environ Microbiol 86(12), e00457-20. PubMed

ILRS Authors

Mahmudul Hasan


The biosynthesis, biochemistry and physiology of coenzyme 3PG-F420


Coenzyme F420 is a redox cofactor involved in hydride transfer reactions in archaea and bacteria. Since F420-dependent enzymes are attracting increasing interest as tools in biocatalysis, F420 biosynthesis is being revisited. While it was commonly accepted for a long time that the 2-phospho-l-lactate (2-PL) moiety of F420 is formed from free 2-PL, it was recently shown that phosphoenolpyruvate is incorporated in Actinobacteria and that the C-terminal domain of the FbiB protein, a member of the nitroreductase (NTR) superfamily, converts dehydro-F420 into saturated F420 Outside the Actinobacteria, however, the situation is still unclear because FbiB is missing in these organisms and enzymes of the NTR family are highly diversified. Here, we show by heterologous expression and in vitro assays that stand-alone NTR enzymes from Thermomicrobia exhibit dehydro-F420 reductase activity. Metabolome analysis and proteomics studies confirmed the proposed biosynthetic pathway in Thermomicrobium roseum These results clarify the biosynthetic route of coenzyme F420 in a class of Gram-negative bacteria, redefine functional subgroups of the NTR superfamily, and offer an alternative for large-scale production of F420 in Escherichia coli in the future.

IMPORTANCE Coenzyme F420 is a redox cofactor of Archaea and Actinobacteria, as well as some Gram-negative bacteria. Its involvement in processes such as the biosynthesis of antibiotics, the degradation of xenobiotics, and asymmetric enzymatic reductions renders F420 of great relevance for biotechnology. Recently, a new biosynthetic step during the formation of F420 in Actinobacteria was discovered, involving an enzyme domain belonging to the versatile nitroreductase (NTR) superfamily, while this process remained blurred in Gram-negative bacteria. Here, we show that a similar biosynthetic route exists in Thermomicrobia, although key biosynthetic enzymes show different domain architectures and are only distantly related. Our results shed light on the biosynthesis of F420 in Gram-negative bacteria and refine the knowledge about sequence-function relationships within the NTR superfamily of enzymes. Appreciably, these results offer an alternative route to produce F420 in Gram-negative model organisms and unveil yet another biochemical facet of this pathway to be explored by synthetic microbiologists.


doi: 10.1128/AEM.00457-20 PMID: 32276981

Go back