Mechanistic possibilities in MauG-dependent tryptophan tryptophylquinone biosynthesis

Xianghui Li, Limei H. Jones, Arwen R. Pearson, Carrie M. Wilmot, Victor L. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Tryptophan tryptophylquinone (TTQ), the prosthetic group of methylamine dehydrogenase, is formed by post-translational modifications of two tryptophan residues that result in the incorporation of two oxygens into one tryptophan side chain and the covalent cross-linking of that side chain to a second tryptophan residue. MauG is a novel 42 kDa di-heme protein, which is required for the biosynthesis of TTQ. An experimental system has been developed that allows the direct continuous monitoring of MauG-dependent TTQ biosynthesis in vitro. Four diverse electron donors, ascorbate, dithiothreitol, reduced glutathione, and NADH, were each able to provide reducing equivalents for MauG-dependent TTQ biosynthesis under aerobic conditions. The reaction with NADH was mediated by an NADH-dependent oxidoreductase. Under anaerobic conditions in the absence of an electron donor, H2O2 could serve as a substrate for MauG-dependent TTQ biosynthesis. During the reaction with H 2O2, a discrete reaction intermediate was observed, which is likely the reduced quinol form of TTQ that then is oxidized to the quinone. These results suggest that not only the incorporation of oxygen into the monohydroxylated biosynthetic intermediate but also the subsequent oxidation of quinol MADH during TTQ biosynthesis is a MauG-dependent process. The implications of these results in elucidating the mechanism of MauG-dependent TTQ biosynthesis and identifying potential physiologic electron and oxygen donors for TTQ biosynthesis in vivo are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13276-13283
Number of pages8
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 7 2006


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