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Nat Prod Rep. 2007 Aug;24(4):750-73. Epub 2007 Apr 3.

The ubiquitous carrier protein--a window to metabolite biosynthesis.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0358, USA.


Nature has developed a remarkable strategy to isolate metabolites from the milieu of the cell for chemical modification through the use of carrier proteins. Common to both primary and secondary metabolic pathways, acyl-carrier proteins constitute a conserved protein architecture which mediate the biosynthesis of a variety of metabolic products. Analogies have been made between the carrier protein and solid phase resin for chemical synthesis, as both entities provide a mechanism to separate compounds of interest from complex mixtures for selective chemical modification. However, there is significantly more to the carrier protein than an attachment point. In this review, we aim to systematically characterize the role of carrier proteins in various metabolic pathways and outline their utility in biosynthesis and biotechnology; 185 references are cited.

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