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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011 Feb;9(2):131-7. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2478. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

Exploiting plug-and-play synthetic biology for drug discovery and production in microorganisms.

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  • 1Department of Microbial Physiology and the Groningen Bioinformatics Centre, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 7, 9747AG Groningen, The Netherlands.


One of the most promising applications of synthetic biology is the biosynthesis of new drugs from secondary metabolites. Here, we survey a wide range of strategies that control the activity of biosynthetic modules in the cell in space and time, and illustrate how these strategies can be used to design efficient cellular synthetic production systems. Re-engineered versions of secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways identified from any genomic sequence can then be inserted into these systems in a plug-and-play fashion.

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