The human gut microbiota metabolizes the Parkinson’s disease medication Levodopa (L-dopa), potentially reducing drug availability and causing side effects. However, the organisms, genes, and enzymes responsible for this activity in patients and their susceptibility to inhibition by host-targeted drugs are unknown. Here, we describe an interspecies pathway for gut bacterial L-dopa metabolism. Conversion of L-dopa to dopamine by a pyridoxal phosphate-dependent tyrosine decarboxylase from Enterococcus faecalis is followed by transformation of dopamine to m-tyramine by a molybdenum-dependent dehydroxylase from Eggerthella lenta. These enzymes predict drug metabolism in complex human gut microbiotas. Although a drug that targets host aromatic amino acid decarboxylase does not prevent gut microbial L-dopa decarboxylation, we identified a compound that inhibits this activity in Parkinson’s patient microbiotas and increases L-dopa bioavailability in mice.
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