Invited Talk: Engineered biosynthesis of functionalized natural products

Zhang, W., University of California, Berkeley
Natural products are important small molecules widely used as drugs, pesticides, herbicides, and biological probes. These compounds offer functional group arrays and scaffold architectures that form advanced platforms for optimization of biological activities. The unique functional groups, additionally, may be used as chemical reporters to enable the visualization, engineered biosynthesis and mode of action study of natural products. We recently identified and characterized novel biosynthetic pathways in microbes leading to the generation of bioorthogonal chemical entities that are commonly used in chemical synthesis and bioorthogonal chemistry. We further showed the promise of using these enzymatic machinery for in situ generation and incorporation of a unique chemical tag into various natural product scaffolds. Application of tagged natural products, such as in situ quantification and visualization, will also be discussed.