Biomimetic synthesis

Biomimetic synthesis is a branch of natural product synthesis that aims to synthesize a target molecule through a series of reactions, and passing through intermediate structures, that are closely related to those that occur during biosynthesis in its natural source.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    Concise total syntheses of 6a-hydroxypterocarpans are sought after due to their broad spectrum of bioactivities. Here, the authors report the asymmetric syntheses of several natural isoflavonoids, including (−)-glyceollin I and (−)-glyceollin II, by means of an asymmetric transfer hydrogenation (ATH) reaction.

    • Philipp Ciesielski
    •  & Peter Metz
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Kimura et al. demonstrate that footpad hair formation of Drosophila involves elongation of hair cells and assembly of actin filaments, followed by cuticular deposition. They then use this mechanism to design an artificial highly adhesive device with easy attachment and detachment properties.

    • Ken-ichi Kimura
    • , Ryunosuke Minami
    • , Yumi Yamahama
    • , Takahiko Hariyama
    •  & Naoe Hosoda
  • Research |

    Despite five decades of research, the alkaloid (+)-brevianamide A has remained an elusive target for chemical synthesis. Now, it has been shown that the total synthesis of (+)-brevianamide A can be achieved in seven steps and 7.2% overall yield to give 750 mg of the target compound.

    • Robert C. Godfrey
    • , Nicholas J. Green
    • , Gary S. Nichol
    •  & Andrew L. Lawrence
    Nature Chemistry 12, 615-619
  • Research |

    The four-coordinate iron sites of typical iron–sulfur clusters rarely react with small molecules, implicating three-coordinate iron in many catalytic cycles. Now, a [4Fe-3S] cluster featuring three-coordinate iron sulfide that resembles the proposed substrate binding site has been synthesized. This cluster shows biomimetic reactivity with a low-spin electronic configuration.

    • Daniel E. DeRosha
    • , Vijay G. Chilkuri
    • , Casey Van Stappen
    • , Eckhard Bill
    • , Brandon Q. Mercado
    • , Serena DeBeer
    • , Frank Neese
    •  & Patrick L. Holland
    Nature Chemistry 11, 1019-1025
  • Research |

    The complete biosynthesis of the fungal indole alkaloid malbrancheamide, which culminates in an intramolecular [4+2] hetero-Diels–Alder cyclization to produce the bicyclo[2.2.2]diazaoctane scaffold, has now been discovered. Chemical synthesis and protein structural analysis were used to provide mechanistic insight into this enzyme-dependent diastereo- and enantioselective cycloaddition.

    • Qingyun Dan
    • , Sean A. Newmister
    • , Kimberly R. Klas
    • , Amy E. Fraley
    • , Timothy J. McAfoos
    • , Amber D. Somoza
    • , James D. Sunderhaus
    • , Ying Ye
    • , Vikram V. Shende
    • , Fengan Yu
    • , Jacob N. Sanders
    • , W. Clay Brown
    • , Le Zhao
    • , Robert S. Paton
    • , K. N. Houk
    • , Janet L. Smith
    • , David H. Sherman
    •  & Robert M. Williams
    Nature Chemistry 11, 972-980
  • Research
    | Open Access

    Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) is a difficult enzyme to work with. Here, the authors covalently immobilized it in a microfluidic reactor to enhance its storage/thermal stabilities and reusability, which enabled the continuous artificial synthesis of glucose precursor.

    • Yujiao Zhu
    • , Ziyu Huang
    • , Qingming Chen
    • , Qian Wu
    • , Xiaowen Huang
    • , Pui-Kin So
    • , Liyang Shao
    • , Zhongping Yao
    • , Yanwei Jia
    • , Zhaohui Li
    • , Weixing Yu
    • , Yi Yang
    • , Aoqun Jian
    • , Shengbo Sang
    • , Wendong Zhang
    •  & Xuming Zhang

News and Comment

  • Editorial |

    There are many unanswered questions regarding how the biomolecules and biomechanical processes that define life came to be. A collection of Articles in this issue show how intermediates in RNA synthesis might have formed and how the initiation and evolution of RNA replication might have occurred.

  • News and Views |

    Nature oxidizes biosynthetic intermediates into structurally and functionally diverse peptides. An iron-catalysed C–H oxidation mimics this approach in the lab, enabling chemists to synthesize structural analogues with ease.

    • Sean Bartlett
    •  & David R. Spring
  • News and Views |

    The ability of enzymes to direct the synthesis of complex natural products from simple starting materials is epitomized by terpene biosynthesis. Now, a supramolecular catalyst has been shown to mimic some of the reactivity of this process.

    • Jeremy J. Roach
    •  & Ryan A. Shenvi
    Nature Chemistry 7, 187-189