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An Artificial Pathway for Isoprenoid Biosynthesis Decoupled from Native Hemiterpene Metabolism

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journal contribution
posted on 16.01.2019, 04:29 by Sean Lund, Rachael Hall, Gavin J Williams
Isoprenoids are constructed in nature using hemiterpene building blocks that are biosynthesized from lengthy enzymatic pathways with little opportunity to deploy precursor-directed biosynthesis. Here, an artificial alcohol-dependent hemiterpene biosynthetic pathway was designed and coupled to several isoprenoid biosynthetic systems, affording lycopene and a prenylated tryptophan in robust yields. This approach affords a potential route to diverse non-natural hemiterpenes and by extension isoprenoids modified with non-natural chemical functionality. Accordingly, the prototype chemo-enzymatic pathway is a critical first step toward the construction of engineered microbial strains for bioconversion of simple scalable building blocks into complex isoprenoid scaffolds.