Working Outside the Protein-Synthesis Rules

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Science  22 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5563, pp. 2205-2207
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5563.2205

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Peptides manufactured by so-called nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) include some of the most potent pharmaceuticals known, from penicillin to the immunosuppressant cyclosporin. Researchers hope to alter the NRPS machinery to make even more effective variants of these powerful drugs as well as novel drugs built along the same lines. Although the goal of designing drug-factory enzymes is still a long way off, recently researchers have begun to engineer new nonribosomal proteins.