Engineering the glycosylation of natural products in actinomycetes

Trends Microbiol. 2007 May;15(5):219-32. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2007.03.004. Epub 2007 Apr 6.


Bioactive natural products are frequently glycosylated with saccharide chains of different length, in which the sugars contribute to specific interactions with the biological target. Combinatorial biosynthesis approaches are being used in antibiotic-producing actinomycetes to generate derivatives with novel sugars in their architecture. Recent advances in this area indicate that glycosyltransferases involved in the biosynthesis of natural products have substrate flexibility regarding the sugar donor but also, less frequently, with respect to the aglycon acceptor. Therefore, the possibility exists of altering the glycosylation pattern of natural products, thus enabling an increase in the structural diversity of natural products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actinobacteria / enzymology
  • Actinobacteria / genetics
  • Actinobacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Biological Products / biosynthesis*
  • Carbohydrates / biosynthesis*
  • Carbohydrates / chemistry
  • Gene Silencing
  • Glycosylation
  • Glycosyltransferases / metabolism
  • Glycosyltransferases / physiology
  • Multigene Family
  • Protein Engineering*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Biological Products
  • Carbohydrates
  • Glycosyltransferases