ChemBioChem

Cover image for Vol. 16 Issue 9

Editor: Peter Gölitz; Editorial Board Chairs: Thomas Carell, Donald Hilvert, Barbara Imperiali

Online ISSN: 1439-7633

Associated Title(s): ChemCatChem, ChemMedChem, ChemPhysChem, ChemSusChem

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June 29, 2015

Very Important Paper: Critical Intermediates Reveal New Biosynthetic Events in the Enigmatic Colibactin Pathway

Zhong-Rui Li, Yongxin Li, Jennifer Y. H. Lai, Jianqiang Tang, Bin Wang, Liang Lu, Guoqiang Zhu, Xiyang Wu, Ying Xu, Pei-Yuan Qian*

It has been ten years since the discovery of the colibactin biosynthetic gene cluster, denoted the “pks island”. The pathogenicity and the underlying mechanisms of these pks+ strains are in the process of being elucidated. However, the precise chemical structure of colibactin remains elusive, which severely hampers attempts to acquire an in-depth understanding of this compound. Now, P.-Y. Qian (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) and co-workers isolated and identified a series of novel compounds as key (pre)colibactin intermediates. The 1H-pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyridine-3,6(2H,5H)-dione- and thiazole-containing intermediate and a dithiazole-containing intermediate discovered here set the stage for fully deciphering the biosynthetic pathway and understanding how colibactin causes DNA double-strand breaks in vivo.

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