Polyketides are secondary metabolites from bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. Polyketides are biosynthesized by the polymerization of acetyl and propionyl subunits in a similar process to fatty acid synthesis (a Claisen condensation). cite journal|author=Robinson JA|year= 1991|title=Polyketide synthase complexes: their structure and function in antibiotic biosynthesis|journal=Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci.|volume=332|pages=107–114|pmid=1678529|doi=10.1098/rstb.1991.0038] They are the building blocks for a broad range of natural products or are further derivatized.

Polyketides are structurally a very diverse family of natural products with diverse biological activities and pharmacological properties. Polyketide antibiotics, antifungals, cytostatics, anticholesterolemics, antiparasitics, coccidiostatics, animal growth promoters and natural insecticides are in commercial use. Fact|date=December 2007


* Macrolides
** Picromycin, the first isolated macrolide (1950)
** The antibiotics erythromycin A, clarithromycin, and azithromycin
** The immunosuppressant tacrolimus (FK506)
* Polyene antibiotics
** Amphotericin
* Tetracyclines
** The tetracycline family of antibiotics
** Annonacin
** Uvaricin
* Others
** Discodermolide
** Aflatoxin


Polyketides are synthesized by one or more specialized and highly complex polyketide synthase (PKS) enzymes.


See also

* Esterase
* Nonribosomal peptide

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