Expanding, integrating, sensing and responding : the role of Primary metabolism in specialised metabolite production

Fernandez-Martinez, Lorena T. and Hoskisson, Paul A. (2019) Expanding, integrating, sensing and responding : the role of Primary metabolism in specialised metabolite production. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 51. pp. 16-21. ISSN 1369-5274

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    Abstract

    Producing specialised metabolites such as antibiotics, immunosuppressives, anti-cancer agents and anti-helminthics draws on primary metabolism to provide the building blocks for biosynthesis. The growth phase-dependent nature of production means that producing organisms must deal with the metabolic conflicts of declining growth rate, reduced nutrient availability, specialised metabolite production and potentially morphological development. In recent years, our understanding of gene expansion events, integration of metabolic function and gene regulation events that facilitate the sensing and responding to metabolite concentrations has grown, but new data are constantly expanding our horizons. This review highlights the role evolutionary gene or pathway expansion plays in primary metabolism and examine the adoption of enzymes for specialised metabolism. We also look at recent insights into sensing and responding to metabolites.