Molecules, Vol. 27, Pages 142: A Glossary for Chemical Approaches towards Unlocking the Trove of Metabolic Treasures in Actinomycetes

Molecules doi: 10.3390/molecules27010142

Jianye Zhang
Heba Ali Hassan
Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen
Eman Maher Zahran

Actinobacterial natural products showed a critical basis for the discovery of new antibiotics as well as other lead secondary metabolites. Varied environmental and physiological signals touch the antibiotic machinery that faced a serious decline in the last decades. The reason was exposed by genomic sequencing data, which revealed that Actinomycetes harbor a large portion of silent biosynthetic gene clusters in their genomes that encrypt for secondary metabolites. These gene clusters are linked with a great reservoir of yet unknown molecules, and arranging them is considered a major challenge for biotechnology approaches. In the present paper, we discuss the recent strategies that have been taken to augment the yield of secondary metabolites via awakening these cryptic genes in Actinomycetes with emphasis on chemical signaling molecules used to induce the antibiotics biosynthesis. The rationale, types, applications and mechanisms are discussed in detail, to reveal the productive path for the unearthing of new metabolites, covering the literature until the end of 2020.

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