Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 8;107(23):10430-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0913677107. Epub 2010 May 17.

Catalytic promiscuity in the biosynthesis of cyclic peptide secondary metabolites in planktonic marine cyanobacteria.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


Our understanding of secondary metabolite production in bacteria has been shaped primarily by studies of attached varieties such as symbionts, pathogens, and soil bacteria. Here we show that a strain of the single-celled, planktonic marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus-which conducts a sizable fraction of photosynthesis in the oceans-produces many cyclic, lanthionine-containing peptides (lantipeptides). Remarkably, in Prochlorococcus MIT9313 a single promiscuous enzyme transforms up to 29 different linear ribosomally synthesized peptides into a library of polycyclic, conformationally constrained products with highly diverse ring topologies. Genes encoding this system are found in variable abundances across the oceans-with a hot spot in a Galapagos hypersaline lagoon-suggesting they play a habitat- and/or community-specific role. The extraordinarily efficient pathway for generating structural diversity enables these cyanobacteria to produce as many secondary metabolites as model antibiotic-producing bacteria, but with much smaller genomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk