Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2020; 25(6): 886-894  
Recent Advances in Re-engineering Modular PKS and NRPS Assembly Lines
Charlotte Beck, Jaime Felipe Guerrero Garzón, and Tilmann Weber
Charlotte Beck, Jaime Felipe Guerrero Garzón, Tilmann Weber*
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, Building 220, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Tel: +45-24-89-6132
shared first authorship
Received: August 18, 2020; Revised: October 9, 2020; Accepted: October 11, 2020; Published online: December 31, 2020.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Polyketides such as the antibiotic erythromycin or the immunosuppressant rapamycin, and non-ribosomal peptides, such as the antibiotics penicillin or vancomycin, are important classes of natural products. The core of these molecules are biosynthesized by large polyketide synthases (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), respectively. The modular architecture of these enzymatic assembly lines makes them interesting candidates for synthetic biology approaches. The re-engineering efforts aim to understand the molecular structure, produce new compounds, produce analogs of known compounds, tag the products or improve activity and/or yield. Here, we first consider the definition of PKS and NRPS modules, then give an overview of different strategies for re-engineering and finally review recent examples of PKS and NRPS reengineering.
Keywords: antibiotics, secondary metabolites, polyketide, non-ribosomal peptide, PKS, NRPS, synthetic biology

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