Recent Advances in Re-engineering Modular PKS and NRPS Assembly Lines

Charlotte Beck, Jaime Felipe Guerrero Garzón, Tilmann Weber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)886-894
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The work of the authors is supported by grants of the Novo Nordisk Foundation [NNF10CC1016517, NNF16OC0021746]. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Springer.


  • Antibiotics
  • Non-ribosomal peptide
  • NRPS
  • PKS
  • Polyketide
  • Secondary metabolites
  • Synthetic biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Recent Advances in Re-engineering Modular PKS and NRPS Assembly Lines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this