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Trends Microbiol. 2007 May;15(5):219-32. Epub 2007 Apr 6.

Engineering the glycosylation of natural products in actinomycetes.

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Departamento de Biología Funcional e Instituto Universitario de Oncología del Principado de Asturias, Universidad de Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.


Bioactive natural products are frequently glycosylated with saccharide chains of different length, in which the sugars contribute to specific interactions with the biological target. Combinatorial biosynthesis approaches are being used in antibiotic-producing actinomycetes to generate derivatives with novel sugars in their architecture. Recent advances in this area indicate that glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of natural products have substrate flexibility regarding the sugar donor but also, less frequently, with respect to the aglycon acceptor. Therefore, the possibility exists of altering the glycosylation pattern of natural products, thus enabling an increase in the structural diversity of natural products.

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