Synthetic Biology Approaches to Fluorinated Polyketides

Benjamin W. Thuronyi, Michelle C.Y. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The catalytic diversity of living systems offers a broad range of opportunities for developing new methods to produce small molecule targets such as fuels, materials, and pharmaceuticals. In addition to providing cost-effective and renewable methods for large-scale commercial processes, the exploration of the unusual chemical phenotypes found in living organisms can also enable the expansion of chemical space for discovery of novel function by combining orthogonal attributes from both synthetic and biological chemistry. In this context, we have focused on the development of new fluorine chemistry using synthetic biology approaches. While fluorine has become an important feature in compounds of synthetic origin, the scope of biological fluorine chemistry in living systems is limited, with fewer than 20 organofluorine natural products identified to date. In order to expand the diversity of biosynthetically accessible organofluorines, we have begun to develop methods for the site-selective introduction of fluorine into complex natural products by engineering biosynthetic machinery to incorporate fluorinated building blocks. To gain insight into how both enzyme active sites and metabolic pathways can be evolved to manage and select for fluorinated compounds, we have studied one of the only characterized natural hosts for organofluorine biosynthesis, the soil microbe Streptomyces cattleya. This information provides a template for designing engineered organofluorine enzymes, pathways, and hosts and has allowed us to initiate construction of enzymatic and cellular pathways for the production of fluorinated polyketides. (Chemical Equation Presented).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-592
Number of pages9
JournalAccounts of chemical research
Volume48
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 17 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry

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