PLP-independent racemization: mechanistic and mutational studies of O-ureidoserine racemase (DcsC)†
O-Ureidoserine racemase (DcsC) is a PLP-independent enzyme in the biosynthetic route to the antibiotic D-cycloserine. Here we present the recombinant expression and characterization of a significantly more active DcsC variant featuring an N-terminal SUMO-tag. Synthesis of enantiomeric pure inhibitors in combination with site-specific mutation of active site cysteines to serines of this enzyme offers closer insights into the mechanism of this transformation. Homology modelling with a close relative (diaminopimelate epimerase, DapF) inspired C- and N-terminal truncation of DcsC to produce a more compact yet still active enzyme variant.