Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.103, No.11, 4337-4345, 2019
The secondary metabolite pactamycin with potential for pharmaceutical applications: biosynthesis and regulation
The antitumor antibiotic pactamycin is a highly substituted aminocyclopentitol-derived secondary metabolite produced by the soil bacterium Streptomyces pactum. It has exhibited potent antibacterial, antitumor, antiviral, and antiprotozoal activities. Despite its outstanding biological activities, the complex chemical structure and broad-spectrum toxicity have hampered its development as a therapeutic, limiting its contribution to biomedical science to a role as a molecular probe for ribosomal function. However, a detailed understanding of its biosynthesis and how the biosynthesis is regulated has made it possible to tactically design and produce new pactamycin analogues, some of which have shown improved pharmacological properties. This mini-review describes the biosynthesis, regulation, engineered production, and biological activities of pactamycin and its congeners. It also highlights the suitability of biosynthetic methods as a feasible approach to generate new analogues of complex natural products and underscores the importance of utilizing biosynthetic enzymes as tools for chemoenzymatic production of structurally diverse bioactive compounds.