The complete DNA sequence of the gene cluster coding for the microginin synthetase of the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa has been identified and sequenced for the first time. The microginin synthetase is a large multi-enzyme complex which catalyzes the microginin, a small linear lipopeptide belonging to the group of non-ribosomal synthesized peptides. <br><br> Microginins are synthesized by various species of cyanobacteria (“blue-green algae”) in diverse structure variants. Mircroginins represent an interesting group of unusual peptides in view of medical application as they are known to have inhibitory effects on the Angiotensin-Converting- Enzyme (ACE). Thus, microginins are potential ACE-inhibitors and represent important drug candidates to treat hypertension and associated diseases such as chronic heart failure and diabetic nephropathy.<br><br> The new identified DNA-sequence of the microginin synthetase gene cluster can be used to identify homologue gene cluster in other cyanobacteria spe-cies and as a matter of fact for the detection of new microginin variants or microginin-like structures. Further on, novel microginin variants can be gen-erated by gene biocombinatoric experiments (gene shuffling) with the objec-tive to optimize the ACE-inhibitory effect.
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