Merging the potential of microbial genetics with biological and chemical diversity: an even brighter future for marine natural product drug discovery
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Marine invertebrates and a growing number of marine bacteria are the sources of novel, bioactive secondary metabolites. Structurally, many of these compounds appear to be biosynthesized by polyketide synthases (PKS) and/or nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) that have also been found in terrestrial microbes. This review highlights scientific advances from 1999-2003 in the emerging field of molecular genetics of polyketide and nonribosomal peptide natural products isolated from marine organisms. The implications of this research towards the development of marine secondary metabolites as a sustainable source of new drugs are discussed.
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