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Our goal at the Center for Synthetic Biology at the Univ. The synthesis of most bioactive natural products involves biosynthetic steps catalyzed by cytochrome P enzymes. We have achieved the rerouting of such entire biosynthetic pathways into the chloroplast Figure 1. The chloroplast is an ideal production unit for diterpenoids, some of which are known anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial compounds, because it is the site of synthesis of their universal precursor, geranyl-geranyl diphosphate.

This article outlines the advances made in identifying and characterizing genes and enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of complex diterpenoids, and discusses the drugs forskolin and ingenolangelate as examples to illustrate the concepts.

This figure represents the overall research strategy for light-driven synthesis of bioactive natural compounds in the chloroplast. In a plant cell, photosynthesis takes place in the chloroplast. Bioactive natural products, such as diterpenoids, are synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum ER.

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The ER harbors the cytochrome P enzymes that catalyze key steps in the synthesis of most bioactive natural products top. The photosystem I PSI reaction complex, which uses light to generate energy and reducing power, is part of photosynthesis and takes place in the chloroplast thylakoids bottom. Two biosynthetic complexes are assembled in the thylakoid membrane to initiate solar-driven synthesis of natural products.

A supra-molecular complex is constructed by incorporating the globular domains of the cytochrome P enzymes and terpenoid synthases as integral parts of the photo-system I complex. More than 50, terpenoids have been detected in plants, making terpenoids the richest repository for chemicals with a wide range of bioactivities. Combinatorial biochemistry offers a means to further augment this diversity. The ultimate goal of using synthetic biology within this research area is to design a plug-and-play template-based production system that, on a long-term basis, can contribute to production of otherwise extremely costly medicinal compounds.

This article also illustrates how solar energy, in combination with the approaches of synthetic biology, may possibly help us to provide science-based solutions to some of the global challenges society faces and help drive our efforts to move toward a bio-based society.

The aim of synthetic biology is to mimic the principles of nature to develop biological systems with desired new properties. Cell function is dependent on the self-assembly and coherent interaction of numerous biological modules, with the output from one module serving as input to the next.

Modules introduced by researchers to establish new desired functional interphases need to adhere to this principle. By combining biology and engineering, we rely on the principles of nature to construct biological systems with new properties, taking a semi-open approach to knowledge development based on the sharing of biological parts.


Bioactive Natural Products (Part D) : Atta-Ur-Rahman :

Open sharing of ideas and knowledge will advance the implementation of synthetic biology. The many global challenges related to fossil fuels, climate change, food security, environmental preservation, and financial inequality are well known. Overcoming these challenges, and transitioning to a bio-based society, will require interdisciplinary research and development, marketing of new and innovative products manufactured using renewable resources, and novel green technologies that are economical and have transformative power.

The aim is to develop disruptive innovation steps that offer new industries a clear, competitive edge. Synthetic biology is gaining recognition as one such transformative technology. Animals have a simple means to confront the challenges of their environment, such as lack of food, harsh climatic conditions, or threats from predators or diseases — they move! Plants, on the other hand, are sessile organisms and have been forced to evolve much more elaborate solutions to the very same challenges.

One adaptive technique of plants is to synthesize an array of structurally complex bioactive natural products with specialized roles. Examples of such specialized molecules include sunscreens to protect against ultraviolet radiation, epicuticular waxes to prevent water loss during periods of drought, and flower pigments to attract pollinators. However, the greatest chemical complexity executed by plants is reserved for synthesis of toxic defense compounds bioactive natural products , which plants deploy to deter herbivores and pests. The biotic challenges are constantly changing; plants, insects, and pests have engaged in a chemical arms race of adaption and counteradaption for over million years 1, 2.

As a result, plants have become the world champions in carrying out complex chemistry and creating chemical structures. Many of these compounds are used as highly valuable colorants, flavors in foods, or medicinal drugs. In general, plants produce these complex bioactive natural products at a sluggish rate, and typically produce them only when it is beneficial for growth and development, when they need to fend off herbivores or pests, or when they want to attract pollinators.

Qian, Y. Gao, J. Xu, Y. Shen, Z. B Analyt. Life Sci. Wang, Z. Liu, D. Gao, X. Zhang, C. Duan, L. Jia, F. Feng, Y. Shen, Q.

Green Separation of Bioactive Natural Products Using Liquefied Mixture of Solids

Colloids Surf. B Biointerfaces 83 , Chomcheon, N. Sriubolmas, S. Ngamrojanavanich, N. Chaichit, C. Phytochemistry 70 , Draths, J. Ngamrojanavanich, S. Kengtong, C. Sureram, S. Mini Rev. Deraeve, Z. Guo, R. Bon, W. Blankenfeldt, R. DiLucrezia, A. Wolf, S. Menninger, E. Stigter, S. Wetzel, A. Choidas, K. Alexandrov, H. Waldmann, R. Goody, Y. Bannwarth, A.

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