Precursor-Directed Biosynthesis of Erythromycin Analogs by an Engineered Polyketide Synthase

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Science  18 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5324, pp. 367-369
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5324.367

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A genetic block was introduced in the first condensation step of the polyketide biosynthetic pathway that leads to the formation of 6-deoxyerythronolide B (6-dEB), the macrocyclic precursor of erythromycin. Exogenous addition of designed synthetic molecules to small-scale cultures of this null mutant resulted in highly selective multimilligram production of unnatural polyketides, including aromatic and ring-expanded variants of 6-dEB. Unexpected incorporation patterns were observed, illustrating the catalytic versatility of modular polyketide synthases. Further processing of some of these scaffolds by postpolyketide enzymes of the erythromycin pathway resulted in the generation of novel antibacterials with in vitro potency comparable to that of their natural counterparts.

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