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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2009;48(26):4688-716. doi: 10.1002/anie.200806121.

The biosynthetic logic of polyketide diversity.

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Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology, HKI, Beutenbergstr. 11a, 07745 Jena, Germany.


Molecular Lego: Polyketides represent a highly diverse group of natural products with structurally intriguing carbon skeletons (see picture) which are assembled from simple acyl building blocks. A combination of chemical, biochemical, and genetics studies have provided exciting new insights into the programming of polyketide assembly and the sophisticated enzymatic machineries involved. This review highlights recent developments in the field.Polyketides constitute one of the major classes of natural products. Many of these compounds or derivatives thereof have become important therapeutics for clinical use; in contrast, various polyketides are infamous food-spoiling toxins or virulence factors. What is particularly remarkable about this heterogeneous group of compounds comprising of polyethers, polyenes, polyphenols, macrolides, and enediynes is that they are mainly derived from one of the simplest building blocks available in nature: acetic acid. Investigations at the chemical, genetic, and biochemical levels have shed light on the biosynthetic programs that lead to the large structural diversity of polyketides .This review highlights recently unveiled biosynthetic mechanisms to generate highly diverse and complex molecules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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