Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Cofactor-independent oxygenases go it alone

Oxygenases have long been thought to require a cofactor for catalysis. The structure of a vancomycin biosynthetic enzyme in complex with a substrate analog, and with molecular oxygen bound in its active site, supports the idea that cofactor-independent oxygenases act by mediating direct single-electron transfer from a substrate anion to dioxygen.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Reaction of the cofactor-independent dioxygenase DpgC.


  1. Bugg, T.D.H. Tetrahedron 59, 7075–7101 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Fetzner, S. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 60, 243–257 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Widboom, P.F., Fielding, E.N., Liu, Y. & Bruner, S.D. Nature 447, 342–345 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Tseng, C.C., Vaillancourt, F.H., Bruner, S.D. & Walsh, C.T. Chem. Biol. 11, 1195–1203 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Sciara, G. et al. EMBO J. 22, 205–215 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Colloc'h, N. et al. Nat. Struct. Biol. 4, 947–952 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Beinker, P. et al. J. Mol. Biol. 359, 728–740 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Frerichs-Deeken, U., Ranguelova, K., Kappl, R., Hü ttermann, J. & Fetzner, S. Biochemistry 43, 14485–14499 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Taga, M.E., Larsen, N.A., Howard-Jones, A.R., Walsh, C.T. & Walker, G.C. Nature 446, 449–453 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Abell, L.M. & Schloss, J.V. Biochemistry 30, 7883–7887 (1991).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fetzner, S. Cofactor-independent oxygenases go it alone. Nat Chem Biol 3, 374–375 (2007).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing