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Methods Enzymol. 2012;517:71-87. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-404634-4.00004-8.

Gamma-butyrolactone and furan signaling systems in Streptomyces.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom.


Streptomyces bacteria produce different classes of diffusible signaling molecules that trigger secondary metabolite production and/or morphological development within the cell population. The biosynthesis of gamma-butyrolactones (GBLs) and 2-alkyl-4-hydroxymethylfuran-3-carboxylic acids (AHFCAs) signaling molecules is related and involves an essential AfsA-like butenolide synthase. This chapter first describes the catalytic role of AfsA-like enzyme then provides details about methods for the discovery and characterization of potentially novel signaling molecules. In section 4, one approach for establishing the biological role of these signaling molecules is presented.

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