Actinomycetes are a rich source for the synthesis of medically and technically useful natural products. The genes encoding the enzymes for their biosynthesis are normally organized in gene clusters, which include also the information for resistance (in the case of antibacterial compounds), regulation, and transport. This facilitates the manipulation of such pathways by molecular genetic techniques. Recent advances in DNA sequencing and analytical chemistry revealed that not only new strains isolated from yet unexplored habitats, but also already known strains possess a large potential for the synthesis of novel compounds. Synthetic Biology now offers a new perspective to exploit this potential further by generating novel pathways, and thereby novel products, by combining different biosynthetic steps originating from different bacteria. The supply of precursors, which are subsequently incorporated into the final product, is often already organized in a modular manner in nature and may directly be exploited for Synthetic Biology. Here we report examples for the synthesis of building blocks and possibilities to modify and optimize antibiotic biosynthesis, exemplary for the synthesis of the manipulation of the synthesis of the glycopeptide antibiotic balhimycin.
- Actinobacteria/genetics/*metabolism Anti-Bacterial Agents/*biosynthesis/chemistry Evolution, Molecular Gene Transfer, Horizontal Multigene Family/genetics Synthetic Biology/*methods