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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2005 Oct 28;44(42):6828-46.

The impact of bacterial genomics on natural product research.

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Institut für Pharmazeutische Biotechnologie, Universität des Saarlandes, Postfach 151150, 66041 Saarbrücken, Germany.


"There's life in the old dog yet!" This adage also holds true for natural product research. After the era of natural products was declared to be over, because of the introduction of combinatorial synthesis techniques, natural product research has taken a surprising turn back towards a major field of pharmaceutical research. Current challenges, such as emerging multidrug-resistant bacteria, might be overcome by developments which combine genomic knowledge with applied biology and chemistry to identify, produce, and alter the structure of new lead compounds. Significant biological activity is reported much less frequently for synthetic compounds, a fact reflected in the large proportion of natural products and their derivatives in clinical use. This Review describes the impact of microbial genomics on natural products research, in particularly the search for new lead structures and their optimization. The limitations of this research are also discussed, thus allowing a look into future developments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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