Macrocyclization of synthetic peptides by thioesterase (TE) domains excised from nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) has been limited to peptides that contain TE-specific recognition elements. To alter substrate specificity of these enzymes by evolution efforts, macrocyclization has to be detected under high-throughput conditions. Here we describe a method to selectively detect cyclic peptides by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). Using this method, picomolar detection limits were easily realized, providing novel entry for kinetic studies of catalyzed macrocyclization. Application of this method also provides an ideal tool to track TE-mediated peptide cyclization in real time. The general utility of FRET-assisted detection of cyclopeptides was demonstrated for two cyclases, namely tyrocidine (Tyc) TE and calcium-dependent antibiotic (CDA) TE. For the latter cyclase, this approach was combined with site-directed affinity labeling, opening the possibility for high-throughput enzymatic screening.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.