Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Polyketide Biosynthesis

An artificial pathway for polyketide biosynthesis

Polyketide synthases are multi-domain enzymes that catalyse the construction of many bioactive natural products. Now, some of the inefficiencies and limitations of these systems have been solved by designing an artificial pathway for carbon–carbon bond formation via iterative rounds of non-decarboxylative thio-Claisen reactions.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Natural and artificial pathways to polyketide products.


  1. 1.

    Kalkreuter, E. & Williams, G. J. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 45, 140–148 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Wu, X. & Huang, T. Future Med. Chem. 12, 533–561 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Tan, Z., Clomburg, J. M., Cheong, S., Qian, S. & Gonzalez, R. Nat. Catal. (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Haapalainen, A. M., Gitte, M. & Rik, K. W. Trends Biochem. Sci. 31, 64–71 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Tang, S. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135, 10099–10103 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Kalkreuter, E., CroweTipton, J. M., Lowell, A. N., Sherman, D. H. & Williams, G. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 141, 1961–1969 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Bonk, B. M., Tarasova, Y., Hicks, M. A., Tidor, B. & Prather, K. L. J. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 115, 2167–2182 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Blaisse, M. R., Fu, B. & Chang, M. C. Y. Biochemistry 57, 3155–3166 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gavin J. Williams.

Ethics declarations

Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gayen, A.K., Nichols, L. & Williams, G.J. An artificial pathway for polyketide biosynthesis. Nat Catal 3, 536–538 (2020).

Download citation


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing