REVIEW ARTICLE


Co-Culture Systems for the Production of Secondary Metabolites: Current and Future Prospects



Zin Quat Tan1, 2, Hui Yin Leow1, 2, David Charles Weerasingam Lee3, Kanakeswary Karisnan3, Adelene Ai Lian Song4, Chun Wai Mai5, Wai Sum Yap2, Swee Hua Erin Lim3, 6, *, Kok Song Lai1, *
1 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University, 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3 Perdana University-Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Perdana University, MAEPS Building, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
4 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
5 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, International Medical University, No. 126, Jalan Jalil Perkasa 19, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
6 Health Sciences Division, Abu Dhabi Women’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology, 41012 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


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© 2019 Tan et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Health Sciences Division, Abu Dhabi Women’s College, Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia; Tel: +971563893757/60389468021;Emails: lerin@hct.ac.ae; laikoksong@upm.edu.my


Abstract

Microorganisms are the great sources of Natural Products (NPs); these are imperative to their survival apart from conferring competitiveness amongst each other within their environmental niches. Primary and secondary metabolites are the two major classes of NPs that help in cell development, where antimicrobial activity is closely linked with secondary metabolites. To capitalize on the effects of secondary metabolites, co-culture methods have been often used to develop an artificial microbial community that promotes the action of these metabolites. Different analytical techniques will subsequently be employed based on the metabolite specificity and sensitivity to further enhance the metabolite induction. Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) and Gas Chromatography (GC)-MS are commonly used for metabolite separation while Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Mass Spectrometry (MS) have been used as tools to elucidate the structure of compounds. This review intends to discuss current systems in use for co-culture in addition to its advantages, with discourse into the investigation of specific techniques in use for the detailed study of secondary metabolites. Further advancements and focus on co-culture technologies are required to fully realize the massive potential in synthetic biological systems.

Keywords: Co-culture systems, Secondary metabolites, Synthetic biology, Cell to cell interactions, Metabolomics, Metabolite profiling.