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Fatty acids -- Biosynthesis, Mass spectrometry, Crystals -- Structure, Antibacterial agents


The fatty acid biosynthesis pathway is an attractive but still largely unexploited target for development of new anti-bacterial agents. The extended use of the anti-tuberculosis drug isoniazid and the antiseptic triclosan, which are inhibitors of fatty acid biosynthesis, validates this pathway as a target for anti-bacterial development. Differences in subcellular organization of the bacterial and eukaryotic multi-enzyme fatty acid synthase systems offer the prospect of inhibitors with host vs. target specificity. Platensimycin, platencin, and phomallenic acids, newly discovered natural product inhibitors of the condensation steps in fatty acid biosynthesis, represent new classes of compounds with antibiotic potential. An almost complete catalogue of crystal structures for the enzymes of the type II fatty acid biosynthesis pathway can now be exploited in the rational design of new inhibitors, as well as the recently published crystal structures of type I FAS complexes.


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Current Opinion in Microbiology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Current Opinion in Microbiology, Volume 10, Issue 5, October 2007, Pages 447-453 and can be found online at:

© 2008. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license



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