Expanding the Biosynthetic Toolbox: The Potential and Challenges of In Vitro Type II Polyketide Synthase Research

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Date
2024-03-07
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Publisher
MDPI
Abstract

Type II polyketide synthase (PKS) systems are a rich source of structurally diverse polycyclic aromatic compounds with clinically relevant antibiotic and chemotherapeutic properties. The enzymes responsible for synthesizing the polyketide core, known collectively as the minimal cassette, hold potential for applications in synthetic biology. The minimal cassette provides polyketides of different chain lengths, which interact with other enzymes that are responsible for the varied cyclization patterns. Additionally, the type II PKS enzyme clusters offer a wide repertoire of tailoring enzymes for oxidations, glycosylations, cyclizations, and rearrangements. This review begins with the variety of chemical space accessible with type II PKS systems including the recently discovered highly reducing variants that produce polyalkenes instead of the archetypical polyketide motif. The main discussion analyzes the previous approaches with an emphasis on further research that is needed to characterize the minimal cassette enzymes in vitro. Finally, the potential type II PKS systems hold the potential to offer new tools in biocatalysis and synthetic biology, particularly in the production of novel antibiotics and biofuels.

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Citation
Rivers, M.A.J.; Lowell, A.N. Expanding the Biosynthetic Toolbox: The Potential and Challenges of In Vitro Type II Polyketide Synthase Research. SynBio 2024, 2, 85-111.