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Issue 20, 2007
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Total synthesis approaches to natural product derivatives based on the combination of chemical synthesis and metabolic engineering

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Abstract

Secondary metabolites are an extremely diverse and important group of natural products with industrial and biomedical implications. Advances in metabolic engineering of both native and heterologous secondary metabolite producing organisms have allowed the directed synthesis of desired novel products by exploiting their biosynthetic potentials. Metabolic engineering utilises knowledge of cellular metabolism to alter biosynthetic pathways. An important technique that combines chemical synthesis with metabolic engineering is mutasynthesis (mutational biosynthesis; MBS), which advanced from precursor-directed biosynthesis (PDB). Both techniques are based on the cellular uptake of modified biosynthetic intermediates and their incorporation into complex secondary metabolites. Mutasynthesis utilises genetically engineered organisms in conjunction with feeding of chemically modified intermediates. From a synthetic chemist's point of view the concept of mutasynthesis is highly attractive, as the method combines chemical expertise with Nature's synthetic machinery and thus can be exploited to rapidly create small libraries of secondary metabolites. However, in each case, the method has to be critically compared with semi- and total synthesis in terms of practicability and efficiency. Recent developments in metabolic engineering promise to further broaden the scope of outsourcing chemically demanding steps to biological systems.

Graphical abstract: Total synthesis approaches to natural product derivatives based on the combination of chemical synthesis and metabolic engineering

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Jun 2007 and first published on 10 Sep 2007


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B709549J
Citation: Org. Biomol. Chem., 2007,5, 3245-3259
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    Total synthesis approaches to natural product derivatives based on the combination of chemical synthesis and metabolic engineering

    A. Kirschning, F. Taft and T. Knobloch, Org. Biomol. Chem., 2007, 5, 3245
    DOI: 10.1039/B709549J

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