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In vitro generation of branched polyketides using bacterial polyketide synthase (PKS)

A bacterial PKS capable of generating branched polyketides may aid the synthesis of complex polyketides with therapeutic potential. Existing recombinant PKSs comprise several enzymatic modules and only have the ability to generate linear polyketide structures. Chemical and structural analysis of a PKS derived from Burkholderia rhizoxinica showed that the enzyme uses vinylogous Michael addition to create branched polyketide backbones. Next steps include further exploring the enzymatic reactions that the newly discovered PKS can perform and using it in combination with other modular PKSs to install branches in polyketide chains.

SciBX 6(40); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1140
Published online Oct. 17, 2013

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Bretschneider, T. et al. Nature; published online Sept. 18, 2013;
Contact: Christian Hertweck, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology, Jena, Germany
Contact: Georg Zocher, Eberhard Karls University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany