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Dissecting and Exploiting Intermodular Communication in Polyketide Synthases

Science  16 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5413, pp. 482-485
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5413.482

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Abstract

Modular polyketide synthases catalyze the biosynthesis of medicinally important natural products through an assembly-line mechanism. Although these megasynthases display very precise overall selectivity, we show that their constituent modules are remarkably tolerant toward diverse incoming acyl chains. By appropriate engineering of linkers, which exist within and between polypeptides, it is possible to exploit this tolerance to facilitate the transfer of biosynthetic intermediates between unnaturally linked modules. This protein engineering strategy also provides insights into the evolution of modular polyketide synthases.

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