Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Opin Microbiol. 1998 Jun;1(3):319-29.

Combinatorial biosynthesis for new drug discovery.

Author information

School of Pharmacy, Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI, 53706, USA.


Combinatorial biosynthesis involves interchanging secondary metabolism genes between antibiotic-producing microorganisms to create unnatural gene combinations or hybrid genes if only part of a gene is exchanged. Novel metabolites can be made by both approaches, due to the effect of a new enzyme on a metabolic pathway or to the formation of proteins with new enzymatic properties. The method has been particularly successful with polyketide synthase (PKS) genes: derivatives of medically important macrolide antibiotics and unusual polycyclic aromatic compounds have been produced by novel combinations of the type I and type II PKS genes, respectively. Recent extensions of the approach to include deoxysugar biosynthesis genes have expanded the possibilities for making new microbial metabolites and discovering valuable drugs through the genetic engineering of bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center