Natural products synthesized by polyketide synthase (PKS), non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) and the hybrid PKS-NRPS have been valuable sources for bioactive compounds due to their structural diversity and wide variety of biological activities. Progresses in the biosynthetic study of natural products in recent years reinvigorate the hope of discovering new compounds for clinical use. This review focuses on the elucidation of biosynthetic pathways of PKS and NRPS, the more “abnormal” biosynthetic reactions, the manipulation of gene cluster to increase product yields, as well as the catalytic applications of the enzymes originated from secondary metabolism. Genome mining or key regulatory gene activation to obtain “silent” gene cluster and the progresses on using sequencing data to predict the generation of natural products are also summarized.
Keywords: Natural product, bioactive compound, PKS, NRPS, gene cluster, biosynthetic pathway, secondary metabolism
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