Engineered polyketide biosynthesis and biocatalysis in Escherichia coli

Xue Gao, Peng Wang, Yi Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Polyketides are important bioactive natural products biosynthesized by bacteria, fungi, and plants. The enzymes that synthesize polyketides are collectively referred to as polyketide synthases (PKSs). Because many of the natural hosts that produce polyketides are difficult to culture or manipulate, establishing a universal heterologous host that is genetically tractable has become an important goal toward the engineered biosynthesis of polyketides and analogues. Here, we summarize the recent progresses in engineering Escherichia coli as a heterologous host for reconstituting PKSs of different types. Our increased understanding of PKS enzymology and structural biology, combined with new tools in protein engineering, metabolic engineering, and synthetic biology, has firmly established E. coli as a powerful host for producing polyketides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1233-1242
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosynthesis
  • Heterologous host
  • Megasynthase


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