Trans-acyltransferase assembly lines redefined : the central role of the acyl carrier protein
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Polyketides are a diverse set of biological molecules that have the potential to revolutionize human health. The scope of their possible functions range from antibiotics to anticancer and understanding the assembly lines which synthesize them is crucial in harnessing their potential. The current understanding of trans-acyltransferase polyketide synthases is limited and no large-scale bioinformatics analysis has been previously performed with the goal of understanding the modular structures that makes the molecular assembly lines. The work presented here redefines the modular boundaries in polyketide synthases to be centered around the acyl carrier protein and end, instead of begin, with a ketosynthase domain. This modular redefinition may prove crucial in the future engineering of synthetic pathways. Finally, it is shown that the conservation in the acyl carrier protein is capable of predicting modular function.