Natural products: Sponge symbionts play defense

July 18th, 2014 by Emily P Balskus

Nature Chemical Biology 10, 611 (2014). doi:10.1038/nchembio.1588

Author: Emily P Balskus

The gene cluster that produces the sponge-derived cytotoxin calyculin A has been located in an uncultivated bacterial symbiont. Biochemical analyses reveal a pyrophosphorylated protoxin as the true biosynthetic product and suggest that calyculins result from activated chemical defense.