Prenylated Flavins: Structures and Mechanisms

Samuel Bloor, Iaroslav Michurin, Gabriel Titchiner, David Leys

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The UbiX/UbiD system is widespread in microbes and responsible for the reversible decarboxylation of unsaturated carboxylic acids. The UbiD enzyme catalyzes this unusual reaction using a prenylated flavin (prFMN) as cofactor, the latter formed by the flavin prenyltransferase UbiX. A detailed picture of the biochemistry of flavin prenylation, oxidative maturation, and covalent catalysis underpinning reversible decarboxylation is emerging. This reveals the prFMN cofactor can undergo a wide range of transformations, complemented by considerable UbiD-variability. These provide a blueprint for biotechnological applications aimed at producing hydrocarbons or aromatic C–H activation through carboxylation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2232-2245
Number of pages14
JournalThe FEBS Journal
Issue number9
Early online date24 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • (de) carboxylation
  • UbiD
  • UbiX
  • flavin chemistry
  • prFMN


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