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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006 Jul;33(7):577-88. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Analysis of myxobacterial secondary metabolism goes molecular.

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  • 1Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Saarland University, P.O. Box 151150, 66041 Saarbrücken, Germany.


During the last 20 years myxobacteria have made their way from highly exotic organisms to one of the major sources of microbial secondary metabolites besides actinomycetes and fungi. The pharmaceutical interest in these peculiar prokaryotes lies in their ability to produce a variety of structurally unique compounds and/or metabolites with rare biological activities. This review deals with the recent progress toward a better understanding of the biology, the genetics, the biochemistry and the regulation of secondary metabolite biosynthesis in myxobacteria. These research efforts paved the way to sophisticated in vitro studies and to the heterologous expression of complete biosynthetic pathways in conjunction with their targeted manipulation. The progress made is a prerequisite for using the vast resource of myxobacterial diversity regarding secondary metabolism more efficiently in the future.

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