Genomic determinants encode the reactivity and regioselectivity of flavin-dependent halogenases in bacterial genomes and metagenomes

Jehyun Jeon, Jaehee Lee, Se Min Jung, Jae Hong Shin, Woon Ju Song, Mina Rho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Halogenases create diverse natural products by utilizing halide ions and are of great interest in the synthesis of potential pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. An increasing number of halogenases discovered in microorganisms are annotated as flavin-dependent halogenases (FDHs), but their chemical reactivities are markedly different and the genomic contents associated with such functional distinction have not been revealed yet. Even though the reactivity and regioselectivity of FDHs are essential in the halogenation activity, these FDHs are annotated inaccurately in the protein sequence repositories without characterizing their functional activities. We carried out a comprehensive sequence analysis and biochemical characterization of FDHs. Using a probabilistic model that we built in this study, FDHs were discovered from 2,787 bacterial genomes and 17 sediment metagenomes. We analyzed the essential genomic determinants that are responsible for substrate binding and subsequent reactions: Four flavin adenine dinucleotide- binding, one halide-binding, and four tryptophan-binding sites. Compared with previous studies, our study utilizes large-scale genomic information to propose a comprehensive set of sequence motifs that are related to the active sites and regioselectivity. We reveal that the genomic patterns and phylogenetic locations of the FDHs determine the enzymatic reactivities, which was experimentally validated in terms of the substrate scope and regioselectivity. A large portion of publicly available FDHs needs to be reevaluated to designate their correct functions. Our genomic models establish comprehensive links among genotypic information, reactivity, and regioselectivity of FDHs, thereby laying an important foundation for future discovery and classification of novel FDHs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00053-21
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021 Jun


  • Active sites
  • Genomic patterns
  • Halogenase
  • Mutagenesis
  • Phylogeny
  • Profile hidden Markov model
  • Regioselectivity


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