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Environ Microbiol. 2004 Sep;6(9):921-7.

Targeting modular polyketide synthases with iteratively acting acyltransferases from metagenomes of uncultured bacterial consortia.

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1
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Department of Bioorganics, Hans-Knöll-Strasse 8, Beutenberg Campus, 07745 Jena, Germany. piel@ice.mpg.de

Abstract

Bacterial type I polyketide synthases (PKSs) produce a wide range of biomedically important secondary metabolites. These enzymes possess a modular structure that can be genetically re-engineered to yield novel drug candidates not found in nature. Recently, we have reported the putative pederin PKS from an uncultured bacterial symbiont of Paederus fuscipes beetles. It belongs to an architecturally unusual PKS group, the members of which contain iteratively acting acyltransferases that are not integrated into the PKS modules but are encoded by isolated genes. As these systems are rare, often contain additional unusual features and are of smaller size than regular PKSs, the development of a method for the targeted isolation of new group members would be of great interest. Here, we present a phylogenetic approach to identify these systems rapidly in highly complex metagenomic DNA samples. To demonstrate its practical value, we located two pederin-type PKS systems putatively involved in the biosynthesis of antitumour polyketides in the metagenomic DNA of beetles, sponges and their uncultivated bacterial symbionts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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