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Trends Biotechnol. 1998 Nov;16(11):475-82.

Genetic manipulation of antitumor-agent biosynthesis to produce novel drugs.

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  • 1Departamento de Biologia Funcional e Instituto Universitario de Biotecnologia de Asturias (IUBA-CSIC), Universidad de Oviedo, Spain.


Current methods of obtaining novel drugs may be complemented in the near future by the genetic engineering of antitumor-agent biosynthesis in microorganisms. Biosynthetic gene clusters from several antitumor pathways in actinomycetes are presently being characterized and expressed in order to generate novel drugs. Several novel hydroxylated and glycosylated antitumor-drug derivatives have been produced that show a relaxed substrate specificity for secondary-metabolic enzymes, which opens up the possibility of generating novel drugs by genetic manipulation.

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