Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Chemical biology

Synthetic metabolism goes green

An extension of synthetic biology to a medicinal plant involves the transfer of chlorination equipment from bacteria. This exercise adds implements to the enzymatic toolbox for generating natural products. See Letter p.461

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Catharanthus roseus, more commonly known as the Madagascar periwinkle.



  1. Austin, M. B., O'Maille, P. E. & Noel, J. P. Nature Chem. Biol. 4, 217–222 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Runguphan, W., Qu, X. & O'Connor, S. E. Nature 468, 461–464 (2010).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Ziegler, J. & Facchini, P. J. Annu. Rev. Plant Biol. 59, 735–769 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Deb Roy, A., Grüschow, S., Cairns, N. & Goss, R. J. M. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 12243–12245 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Ro, D.-K. et al. Nature 440, 940–943 (2006).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. O'Connor, S. E. & Maresh, J. J. Nat. Prod. Rep. 23, 532–547 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Bernhardt, P., McCoy, E. & O'Connor, S. E. Chem. Biol. 14, 888–897 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Tawfik, D. S. Nature Chem. Biol. 6, 692–696 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Ryan, K. S. & Drennan, C. L. Chem. Biol. 16, 351–364 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Loris, E. A. et al. Chem. Biol. 14, 979–985 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Noel, J. Synthetic metabolism goes green. Nature 468, 380–381 (2010).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing