Christopher R Vickery

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (4)36.17 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: 4´-phosphopantetheinyl transferase (PPTase) post-translationally modifies carrier proteins with a phosphopantetheine moiety, an essential reaction in all three domains of life. In the bacterial genus Mycobacteria, the Sfp-type PPTase activates pathways necessary for the biosynthesis of cell wall components and small molecule virulence factors. We solved the X-ray crystal structures of and biochemically characterized the Sfp-type PPTases from two of the most prevalent Mycobacterial pathogens, PptT of M. tuberculosis and MuPPT of M. ulcerans. Structural analyses reveal significant differences in co-factor binding and active site composition when compared to previously characterized Sfp-type PPTases. Functional analyses including the efficacy of Sfp-type PPTase-specific inhibitors also suggest that the Mycobacterial Sfp-type PPTases can serve as therapeutic targets against Mycobacterial infections.
    ACS Chemical Biology 06/2014; · 5.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Covering: up to 2013Although holo-acyl carrier protein synthase, AcpS, a phosphopantetheinyl transferase (PPTase), was characterized in the 1960s, it was not until the publication of the landmark paper by Lambalot et al. in 1996 that PPTases garnered wide-spread attention being classified as a distinct enzyme superfamily. In the past two decades an increasing number of papers have been published on PPTases ranging from identification, characterization, structure determination, mutagenesis, inhibition, and engineering in synthetic biology. In this review, we comprehensively discuss all current knowledge on this class of enzymes that post-translationally install a 4'-phosphopantetheine arm on various carrier proteins.
    Natural Product Reports 11/2013; · 10.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type III plant polyketide synthases (PKSs) biosynthesize a dazzling array of polyphenolic products that serve important roles in both plant and human health. Recent advances in structural characterization of these enzymes and new tools from the field of chemical biology have facilitated exquisite probing of plant PKS iterative catalysis. These tools have also been used to exploit type III PKSs as biocatalysts to generate new chemicals. Going forward, chemical, structural and biochemical analyses will provide an atomic resolution understanding of plant PKSs and will serve as a springboard for bioengineering and scalable production of valuable molecules in vitro, by fermentation and in planta.
    Current Opinion in Plant Biology 06/2013; 16. · 9.39 Impact Factor
  • Gene H Hur, Christopher R Vickery, Michael D Burkart
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    ABSTRACT: Covering up to the end of 2011Many pharmaceuticals on the market today belong to a large class of natural products called nonribosomal peptides (NRPs). Originating from bacteria and fungi, these peptide-based natural products consist not only of the 20 canonical l-amino acids, but also non-proteinogenic amino acids, heterocyclic rings, sugars, and fatty acids, generating tremendous chemical diversity. As a result, these secondary metabolites exhibit a broad array of bioactivity, ranging from antimicrobial to anticancer. The biosynthesis of these complex compounds is carried out by large multimodular megaenzymes called nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs). Each module is responsible for incorporation of a monomeric unit into the natural product peptide and is composed of individual domains that perform different catalytic reactions. Biochemical and bioinformatic investigations of these enzymes have uncovered the key principles of NRP synthesis, expanding the pharmaceutical potential of their enzymatic processes. Progress has been made in the manipulation of this biosynthetic machinery to develop new chemoenzymatic approaches for synthesizing novel pharmaceutical agents with increased potency. This review focuses on the recent discoveries and breakthroughs in the structural elucidation, molecular mechanism, and chemical biology underlying the discrete domains within NRPSs.
    Natural Product Reports 07/2012; 29(10):1074-98. · 10.72 Impact Factor