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Radical break-up, blissful make-up

The radical SAM superfamily of enzymes provides, yet again, fertile ground for the discovery of amazing new biochemical transformations. Strong evidence is now presented for an unprecedented radical fragmentation-recombination of L-tryptophan to a derivative that is incorporated into the complex antibiotic nosiheptide, highlighting the versatility of radical mechanisms for complex biochemical reactions.

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Figure 1: Scheme showing the NosL-catalyzed transformation of L-tryptophan to MIA and its incorporation into nosiheptide.


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Correspondence to Squire J Booker.

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Arcinas, A., Booker, S. Radical break-up, blissful make-up. Nat Chem Biol 7, 133–134 (2011).

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