Modular polyketide synthase-derived insecticidal agents: from biosynthesis and metabolic engineering to combinatorial biosynthesis for their production
Covering: up to 2022
Polyketides derived from actinomycetes are a valuable source of eco-friendly biochemical insecticides. The development of new insecticides is urgently required, as the number of insects resistant to more than one drug is rapidly increasing. Moreover, significant enhancement of the production of such biochemical insecticides is required for economical production. There has been considerable improvement in polyketide insecticidal agent production and development of new insecticides. However, most commercially important biochemical insecticides are synthesized by modular type I polyketide synthases (PKSs), and their structural complexities make chemical modification challenging. A detailed understanding of the biosynthetic mechanisms of potent polyketide insecticides and the structure–activity relationships of their analogs will provide insight into the comprehensive design of new insecticides with improved efficacies. Further metabolic engineering and combinatorial biosynthesis efforts, reinvigorated by synthetic biology, can eventually produce designed analogs in large quantities. This highlight reviews the biosynthesis of representative insecticides produced by modular type I PKSs, such as avermectin, spinosyn, and spectinabilin, and their insecticidal properties. Metabolic engineering and combinatorial biosynthetic strategies for the development of high-yield strains and analogs with insecticidal activities are emphasized, proposing a way to develop a next-generation insecticide.