Nature Communications, 23 March, 2020，DOI：https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15268-y
Structural insights into catalytic mechanism and product delivery of cyanobacterial acyl-acyl carrier protein reductase
Yu Gao, Hongmei Zhang, Minrui Fan, Chenjun Jia, Lifang Shi, Xiaowei Pan, Peng Cao, Xuelin Zhao, Wenrui Chang & Mei Li
Long-chain alk(a/e)nes represent the major constituents of conventional transportation fuels. Biosynthesis of alkanes is ubiquitous in many kinds of organisms. Cyanobacteria possess two enzymes, acyl-acyl carrier protein (acyl-ACP) reductase (AAR) and aldehyde-deformylating oxygenase (ADO), which function in a two-step alkane biosynthesis pathway. These two enzymes act in series and possibly form a complex that efficiently converts long chain fatty acyl-ACP/fatty acyl-CoA into hydrocarbon. While the structure of ADO has been previously described, structures of both AAR and AAR–ADO complex have not been solved, preventing deeper understanding of this pathway. Here, we report a ligand-free AAR structure, and three AAR–ADO complex structures in which AARs bind various ligands. Our results reveal the binding pattern of AAR with its substrate/cofactor, and suggest a potential aldehyde-transferring channel from AAR to ADO. Based on our structural and biochemical data, we proposed a model for the complete catalytic cycle of AAR.