One of Nature's Macromolecular Machines Demystified

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Science  15 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5290, pp. 1152-1153
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5290.1152


Organisms in nature use sophisticated molecular machinery to synthesize polypeptides with useful medicinal properties. In her Perspective, Stubbe discusses work by Li et al., published in the same issue (p. 1188), in which the components involved in the synthesis of microcin B17 by Escherichia coli are purified. Understanding the details of how such posttranslationally modified peptides are made may lead to the development of other novel molecules with antibiotic and antitumor properties.