Hydroxymandelate synthase (HMS) is an important enzyme that catalyzes a critical step in the formation of para-hydroxyphenylglycine, a recurrent substructure of polycyclic non-proteinogenic peptide antibiotics such as vancomycin . HMS uses the same substrates as HPPD (HPP and O2) and also conducts a dioxygenation reaction.
The difference between the two reactions is that HMS inserts the second oxygen atom onto the benzylic carbon of the substrate rather than the aromatic C1 carbon. The two enzymes, HPPD and HMS, share around 48% identity and similarity with a much higher degree of both in the C-terminal or active site domain. The gene for HMS from Amycolatopsis orientalis was a gift from the laboratory of Christopher Walsh at Harvard Medical School.
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