Complex Enzymes in Microbial Natural Product Biosynthesis, Part A: Overview Articles and Peptides

Complex Enzymes in Microbial Natural Product Biosynthesis, Part A: Overview Articles and Peptides

1st Edition - April 10, 2009

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  • Editor: David Hopwood
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123745880
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080923352

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Microbial natural products have been an important traditional source of valuable antibiotics and other drugs but interest in them waned in the 1990s when big pharma decided that their discovery was no longer cost-effective and concentrated instead on synthetic chemistry as a source of novel compounds, often with disappointing results. Moreover understanding the biosynthesis of complex natural products was frustratingly difficult. With the development of molecular genetic methods to isolate and manipulate the complex microbial enzymes that make natural products, unexpected chemistry has been revealed and interest in the compounds has again flowered. This two-volume treatment of the subject will showcase the most important chemical classes of complex natural products: the peptides, made by the assembly of short chains of amino acid subunits, and the polyketides, assembled from the joining of small carboxylic acids such as acetate and malonate. In both classes, variation in sub-unit structure, number and chemical modification leads to an almost infinite variety of final structures, accounting for the huge importance of the compounds in nature and medicine.

Key Features

* Gathers tried and tested methods and techniques from top players in the field.
* In depth coverage of ribosomally-synthesised and Non-ribosomally-synthesised peptides.
* Provides an extremely useful reference for the experienced research scientist.


Researchers in cell, molecular and developmental biology; biochemists, pharmacologists, geneticists.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Overview articles

    Introduction - chemical classes of complex natural products and overview of their biosynthesis
    Discovery of novel natural products
    Trans-modification of intermediates on the assembly line in PKS, FAS and NRPS biosynthesis
    Post-assembly line modifications, including glycosylation
    Cloning and analysis of natural product pathways
    In silico prediction of pathways from DNA sequence
    Mass spectrometric analysis of PKS and NRPS biosynthetic intermediates
    Synthetic probes for PKS and NRPS biochemistry
    Directed evolution of natural products
    Expression in a heterologous host
    Pathway-specific and global regulation of antibiotic biosynthesis:
    Regulation of antibiotic production by bacterial hormones:

    Part 2: Peptides

    A. Non-ribosomally-synthesised peptides

    Overview of NRPSs, and mechanistic and structural studies
    Cephamycins and clavulanic acid
    Precursor Biosynthesis

    B. Ribosomally synthesised peptides

    Lantibiotic biosynthesis and engineering of novel compounds
    Cyclic peptides from marine bacteria

Product details

  • No. of pages: 350
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2009
  • Published: April 10, 2009
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123745880
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080923352

About the Serial Volume Editor

David Hopwood

Affiliations and Expertise

John Innes Centre and AFRC Institute of Plant Science Research, Norwich, UK

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