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Lewis Bingle

Great blog! One point that I don't understand here is about "fused genes" being strain specific - I was under the impression that "fused" PKS systems consisting of large multidomain proteins (Type I or modular systems) were actually fairly widely distributed in bacteria, at least in the streptomycetes that are the most prolific producers of these metabolites. Is it the case that a particular polyketide can be made by a "fused" multifunctional enzyme in one strain and a collection of monofunctional enzymes (Type II) in another strain?

Certainly in moulds these "fused" type I PKS enzymes are the norm and presumably they must work well for the fungi. Interestingly, while the fatty acid synthase enzymes (evolutionarily and biosynthetically related to PKSs) of bacteria consist of a collection of discrete monofunctional (small) proteins, the fungal FASs have also "fused" into multidomain (large) proteins, as have those of mammals and also a few bacterial systems (but not plants for some reason).

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