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Adenylate-forming enzymes are a mechanistic superfamily that are involved in diverse biochemical pathways. They catalyze ATP-dependent activation of carboxylic acid substrates as reactive acyl adenylate (acyl-AMP) intermediates and subsequent coupling to various nucleophiles to generate ester, thioester, and amide products. Inspired by natural products, acyl sulfonyladenosines (acyl-AMS) that mimic the tightly bound acyl-AMP reaction intermediates have been developed as potent inhibitors of adenylate-forming enzymes. This simple yet powerful inhibitor design platform has provided a wide range of biological probes as well as several therapeutic lead compounds. Herein, we provide an overview of the nine structural classes of adenylate-forming enzymes and examples of acyl-AMS inhibitors that have been developed for each.


Michaelyn C Lux, Lisa C Standke, Derek S Tan. Targeting adenylate-forming enzymes with designed sulfonyladenosine inhibitors. The Journal of antibiotics. 2019 Jun;72(6):325-349

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PMID: 30982830

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