Nucleoside Phosphorylases Make N7-Xanthosine, the “Non-native” Regioisomer of Xanthosine

25 October 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Modern, highly evolved, nucleoside-processing enzymes are known to exhibit perfect regioselectivity over the glycosylation of purine nucleobases at N9. We herein report an exception to this paradigm. Wild-type nucleoside phosphorylases also furnish N7- xanthosine, the “non-native” ribosylation regioisomer of xanthosine. This unusual nucleoside possesses several atypical physicochemical properties such as redshifted absorption spectra, a high equilibrium constant of phosphorolysis and low acidity. Ultimately, the biosynthesis of this previously unknown natural product illustrates how even highly evolved, essential enzymes from the primary metabolism are imperfect catalysts.


natural products

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