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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2009 Jun;12(3):252-60. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2009.05.002. Epub 2009 May 28.

Chasing the treasures of the sea - bacterial marine natural products.

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Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


Bacterial marine natural products are an important source of novel lead structures for drug discovery. The cytotoxic properties of many of these secondary metabolites are of particular interest for the development of new anticancer agents. Tremendous advances in marine molecular biology, genome sequencing, and bioinformatics have paved the way to fully exploit the biomedical potential of marine bacterial products. In addition, unique biosynthetic enzymes discovered from bacteria from the sea have begun to emerge as powerful biocatalysts in medicinal chemistry and total synthesis. The increasingly interdisciplinary field of marine natural product chemistry thus strongly impacts future developments in medicine, chemistry, and biology.

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