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Biosynthetic origin of natural products isolated from marine microorganism-invertebrate assemblages
Simmons, T.L.; Coates, R.C.; Clark, B.J.; Engene, N.; Gonzalez, D.; Esquenazi, E.; Dorrestein, P.C.; Gerwick, W.H. (2008). Biosynthetic origin of natural products isolated from marine microorganism-invertebrate assemblages. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105(12): 4587-4594.
In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The Academy: Washington, D.C.. ISSN 0027-8424, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Simmons, T.L.
  • Coates, R.C.
  • Clark, B.J.
  • Engene, N.
  • Gonzalez, D.
  • Esquenazi, E.
  • Dorrestein, P.C.
  • Gerwick, W.H.

    In all probability, natural selection began as ancient marine microorganisms were required to compete for limited resources. These pressures resulted in the evolution of diverse genetically encoded small molecules with a variety of ecological and metabolic roles. Remarkably, many of these same biologically active molecules have potential utility in modern medicine and biomedical research. The most promising of these natural products often derive from organisms richly populated by associated microorganisms (e.g., marine sponges and ascidians), and often there is great uncertainty about which organism in these assemblages is making these intriguing metabolites. To use the molecular machinery responsible for the biosynthesis of potential drug-lead natural products, new tools must be applied to delineate their genetic and enzymatic origins. The aim of this perspective is to highlight both traditional and emerging techniques for the localization of metabolic pathways within complex marine environments. Examples are given from the literature as well as recent proof-of-concept experiments from the authors' laboratories.

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