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Chembiochem. 2017 Jan 3;18(1):50-65. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201600522. Epub 2016 Nov 30.

Type III Polyketide Synthases: Functional Classification and Phylogenomics.

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Bioinformatics Center, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Gokasho, Uji, Kyoto, 611-0011, Japan.


Polyketide synthases (PKSs) catalyze the sequential condensation of simple acetate units to produce a large class of natural products, including pharmacologically valuable compounds. PKSs are classified into three types on the basis of their domain structures; type III PKSs have the simplest domain structure, although their products have various structures and functions. The sequence-function relationship is fundamental for predicting enzyme functions, but it has not been well investigated in type III PKSs to date. Consequently, the current methods for predicting type III PKS functions are still immature in comparison with those that target type I/II PKSs. In this review we summarize the current functional and phylogenomic knowledge about type III PKSs and propose a new classification of their enzymatic reactions. We also discuss possible directions for the development of better computational tools for functional prediction of type III PKS homologues.


biosynthesis; enzyme reaction classification; genome mining; phylogenomic distribution; polyketides

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