Diversity of monomers in nonribosomal peptides: towards the prediction of origin and biological activity

J Bacteriol. 2010 Oct;192(19):5143-50. doi: 10.1128/JB.00315-10. Epub 2010 Aug 6.


Nonribosomal peptides (NRPs) are molecules produced by microorganisms that have a broad spectrum of biological activities and pharmaceutical applications (e.g., antibiotic, immunomodulating, and antitumor activities). One particularity of the NRPs is the biodiversity of their monomers, extending far beyond the 20 proteogenic amino acid residues. Norine, a comprehensive database of NRPs, allowed us to review for the first time the main characteristics of the NRPs and especially their monomer biodiversity. Our analysis highlighted a significant similarity relationship between NRPs synthesized by bacteria and those isolated from metazoa, especially from sponges, supporting the hypothesis that some NRPs isolated from sponges are actually synthesized by symbiotic bacteria rather than by the sponges themselves. A comparison of peptide monomeric compositions as a function of biological activity showed that some monomers are specific to a class of activities. An analysis of the monomer compositions of peptide products predicted from genomic information (metagenomics and high-throughput genome sequencing) or of new peptides detected by mass spectrometry analysis applied to a culture supernatant can provide indications of the origin of a peptide and/or its biological activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Peptide Synthases / metabolism
  • Peptides / chemistry*
  • Peptides / metabolism


  • Peptides
  • Peptide Synthases
  • non-ribosomal peptide synthase