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Properties and applications of undecylprodigiosin and other bacterial prodigiosins

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The growing demand to fulfill the needs of present-day medicine in terms of novel effective molecules has lead to reexamining some of the old and known bacterial secondary metabolites. Bacterial prodigiosins (prodiginines) have a long history of being re markable multipurpose compounds, best examined for their anticancer and antimalarial activities. Production of prodigiosin in the most common producer strain Serratia marcescens has been described in great detail. However, few reports have discussed the ecophysiological roles of these molecules in the producing strains, as well as their antibiotic and UV-protective properties. This review describes recent advances in the production process, biosynthesis, properties, and applications of bacterial prodigiosins. Special emphasis is put on undecylprodigiosin which has generally been a less studied member of the prodigiosin family. In addition, it has been suggested that proteins involved in undecylprodigiosin synthesis, RedG and RedH, could be a useful addition to the biocatalytic toolbox being able to mediate regio- and stereoselective oxidative cyclization. Judging by the number of recent references (216 for the 2007–2013 period), it has become clear that undecylprodigiosin and other bacterial prodigiosins still hold surprises in terms of valuable properties and applicative potential to medical and other industrial fields and that they still deserve continuing research curiosity.

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The authors were funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Serbia Project No. 173048. We thank Dr. William Casey for the helpful suggestions during manuscript preparation.

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Correspondence to Jasmina Nikodinovic-Runic.

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Stankovic, N., Senerovic, L., Ilic-Tomic, T. et al. Properties and applications of undecylprodigiosin and other bacterial prodigiosins. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 98, 3841–3858 (2014).

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  • Bacterial pigment
  • Undecylprodigiosin
  • Prodigiosin
  • Biosynthesis
  • Application