Platensimycin and platencin: Inspirations for chemistry, biology, enzymology, and medicine

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Natural products have served as the main source of drugs and drug leads, and natural products produced by microorganisms are one of the most prevalent sources of clinical antibiotics. Their unparalleled structural and chemical diversities provide a basis to investigate fundamental biological processes while providing access to a tremendous amount of chemical space. There is a pressing need for novel antibiotics with new mode of actions to combat the growing challenge of multidrug resistant pathogens. This review begins with the pioneering discovery and biological activities of platensimycin (PTM) and platencin (PTN), two antibacterial natural products isolated from Streptomyces platensis. The elucidation of their unique biochemical mode of action, structure-activity relationships, and pharmacokinetics is presented to highlight key aspects of their biological activities. It then presents an overview of how microbial genomics has impacted the field of PTM and PTN and revealed paradigm-shifting discoveries in terpenoid biosynthesis, fatty acid metabolism, and antibiotic and antidiabetic therapies. It concludes with a discussion covering the future perspectives of PTM and PTN in regard to natural products discovery, bacterial diterpenoid biosynthesis, and the pharmaceutical promise of PTM and PTN as antibiotics and for the treatment of metabolic disorders. PTM and PTN have inspired new discoveries in chemistry, biology, enzymology, and medicine and will undoubtedly continue to do so.

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