Biosynthesis

Biosynthesis is the generation of natural products through enzymatic reactions, as in cellular metabolism. Successive enzymatic reactions by a number of enzymes are generally required to achieve a single biologically active compound. Biosynthesis can be exploited for chemical synthesis in vitro or in cells like Escherichia coli by combining substrates with enzymes using recombinant methods.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Polyketide synthases are multi-domain enzymes that catalyse the construction of many bioactive natural products. Now, some of the inefficiencies and limitations of these systems have been solved by designing an artificial pathway for carbon–carbon bond formation via iterative rounds of non-decarboxylative thio-Claisen reactions.

    • Anuran K. Gayen
    • , Lindsay Nichols
    •  & Gavin J. Williams
    Nature Catalysis 3, 536-538
  • News and Views |

    Maintaining cellular NAD levels through supplementation with intermediates of NAD synthesis has considerable health benefits. A new study demonstrates that the reduced form of nicotinamide riboside, NRH, can be converted to NAD in a biosynthetic pathway that involves adenosine kinase, thus strongly boosting NAD levels in cells and tissues.

    • Mathias Ziegler
    •  & Andrey A. Nikiforov
    Nature Metabolism 2, 291-292
  • Research Highlights |

    The complete biosynthetic pathway of the anticancer drug etoposide has been engineered into a tobacco plant enabling its direct milligram scale production.

    • Stephen G. Davey