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Biosynthesis and function of secondary metabolites

Plant secondary metabolites: biosynthesis, classification, function and pharmacological properties,,,, and and...

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Biosynthesis and function of secondary metabolites.

The project would be designed so as to compare metabolites from microbes to micro- and macroalgae, and from mesozooplankton to benthic macroinvertebrates in terms of structure, function, and biosynthetic pathways. Compounds with different biological activities, from those with feeding deterrent properties, to those that induce developmental arrest and growth reduction, or toxicity and death, will be investigated. We will also examine whether other properties of the food such as nutrient deficiency can induce similar deleterious effects on predators so as to better be able to differentiate the effects due to a nutritionally poor diet from those induced by toxicity. Samples for chemical and biological screening will be exchanged among network members and inter-calibration of methods will be achieved. This would eventually lead to writing a research paper(s) integrating our respective competences.

This article is part of the Thematic Series

To better understand the diversity of secondary metabolites and what environmental factors trigger increased production of these compounds, novel and ecologically relevant methodologies need to be developed and applied to studies of allelopathy, antipredation, anifouling, antimicrobial, and other possible functions of secondary metabolites. The assumption is that if we can understand the function of these molecules and how they can alter biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem level, we can ultimately underpin the processes that underlie ecosystem functionality.

Biosynthesis, function and metabolic engineering of …

Possibility of Bacterial Recruitment of Plant Genes Associated with the Biosynthesis of Secondary Metabolites Helge Björn Bode and Rolf Müller

The participants of this project all share an interest in the role of secondary metabolites as important defences against predators, competitors and pathogens. By definition, the term secondary metabolites refers to compounds that are not involved in primary metabolism, and therefore differ from the more prevalent macromolecules such as proteins and nuclei acids that make up the basic machinery of life. To date, tens of thousands of these metabolites have been described from marine protists and benthic and pelagic meso- and macro-invertebrates. Most secondary metabolites are often specific to a single species or a taxonomically-related group of organisms. This implies the occurrence of a very wide array of chemical structures (chemical diversity) that maintain ecosystem biodiversity through resource and habitat partitioning. Many of these products find important biotechnological applications in biomedical and drug discovery research, and in the agricultural, aquaculture and chemical industries. The project could therefore have strong connections with Theme 3: The socio-economic importance of biodiversity, but would also generate results which are relevant for other key areas in Theme 2: Marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

Wink M (2010b) Function of Plant Secondary Metabolites and Their Exploitation in Biotechnology. Annual Plant Reviews, vol. 39. Chichester: Wiley‐Blackwell.

Biosynthesis of Secondary Metabolites - ResearchGate

The Hardcover of the Secondary Metabolites: Their Function and Evolution ..

The biosynthesis of secondary metabolites (SMs), which are important for the fitness of the plants as defence against herbivores and microbes and also as signal compounds to attract pollinators and fruit dispersers, occurs universally in higher plants and shows very high structural diversity. The evolution of SMs in higher plants rests on variation in the enzymatic manipulation of a relatively small number of primary precursors. Evidence is presented that at least some of the genes encoding key enzymes of biosynthesis probably have reached plants by ancient horizontal gene transfer (HGT), for example, from protobacteria or cyanobacteria which later became mitochondria and plastids. Another source of SMs can be ectomycorrhizal and endophytic fungi; they can directly provide plants with defence compounds or might have transferred their pathway genes into the genome of their host plants times ago.

With the maturation of actinomycete genome mining as a robust approach to identify new and novel cryptic secondary metabolite gene clusters, it is critical to continue developing methods to activate and enhance secondary metabolite biosynthesis for discovery, development, and large-scale manufacturing.

Genetic manipulation of secondary metabolite biosynthesis for improved production in Streptomyces and other actinomycetes.
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the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites | Download …

Typically, two metabolic processes follow conjugation of the ,-unsaturated ketone. In one, the GSH conjugate undergoes enzyme-catalysed hydrolysis and -acetylation, yielding the corresponding -acetyl-L-cysteine derivative (i.e., mercapturic acid derivative) (Chasseaud, 1976). In the other, the ketone function may be reduced to the corresponding alcohol. The principal metabolite obtained from the urine of rats given 2-propenal by subcutaneous injection was -acetyl--(3-hydroxypropyl)-L-cysteine (Kaye, 1973). Formation of the mercapturic acid derivative of the corresponding secondary alcohol has been reported with mesityl oxide [4-methyl-3-penten-2-one (No. 1131)] and with ethyl vinyl ketone [1-penten-3-one (No. 1147)] in vitro with rat liver homogenate (Boyland & Chasseaud, 1967; Chasseaud, 1976).

the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites ..

The discovery of new bioactive natural products is still a fascinating field in organic chemistry as demonstrated by the recent paradigms of the anticancer drug epothilon, the immunosuppressant rapamycin, or the proteasome inhibitor salinosporamide, to name but a few of hundreds of possible examples. Finding new secondary metabolites is a prerequisite for the development of novel pharmaceuticals, and this is an especially urgent task in the case of antibiotics due to the rapid spreading of bacterial resistances and the emergence of multiresistant pathogenic strains, which poses severe clinical problems in the treatment of infectious diseases. This Thematic Series on the biosynthesis and function of secondary metabolites deals with the discovery of new biologically active compounds from all kinds of sources, including plants, bacteria, and fungi, and also with their biogenesis. Biosynthetic aspects are closely related to functional investigations, because a deep understanding of metabolic pathways to natural products, not only on a chemical, but also on a genetic and enzymatic level, allows for the expression of whole biosynthetic gene clusters in heterologous hosts. This technique can make interesting, new secondary metabolites available from unculturable microorganisms, or may be used to optimise their availability by fermentation, for further research and also for production in the pharmaceutical industry. Especially fascinating is the intrinsic logic of the polyketide and nonribosomal peptide biosynthetic machineries, which is strongly correlated with the logic of fatty acid biosynthesis as part of the primary metabolism. Insights into the mechanisms of modular polyketide and nonribosomal peptide assembly lines open up the possibility for direct modifications, e.g., of oxidation states of the natural product’s carbon backbone by simple domain knockouts within the responsible megasynthases, or the introduction of a variety of alternative biosynthetic starters by mutasynthesis approaches, thus leading to new variants of known metabolites, which may have improved properties for therapeutic use. Another interesting aspect is the usage of enzymes in chemical transformations, which can provide synthetic organic chemists with an efficient access route to typically chiral building blocks that may otherwise be difficult to obtain.

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