Research Description: Peptide derived antibiotics can be biosynthesized in two distinct ways: non-ribosomal synthesis or ribosomal synthesis followed by post-translational modifications. RiPPs, otherwise known as ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides, are interesting discovery targets due to their vast distribution and diversity. A RiPP modifying class of enzymes, class I lanthipeptide dehydratases (LanB) transfer glutamate from a charged tRNA onto a peptide Ser/Thr side chain to form an ester bond. The enzyme then catalyzes elimination of glutamate to yield Dha/Dhb. A class of unclassified truncated LanB-like enzymes (sLanB) that completely lack the conventional elimination domain potentially present a new type of functional enzymatic chemistry. I aim to investigate the roles of a subset of sLanBs in a biosynthetic gene cluster in Bacillus halodurans.
Advisor: Wilfred van der Donk
Degree: PhD 2022
Current Position: Scientist I, Primordial Genetics