The generation of “unNatural” products: Synthetic biology meets synthetic chemistry

Rebecca J. M. Goss ; Sreejith Shankar ; Antoine Abou Fayad

Nat Prod Rep 2012, 29 870-889

Natural product analogue generation is important, providing tools for chemical biology, enabling structure activity relationship determination and insight into the way in which natural products interact with their target biomolecules. The generation of analogues is also often necessary in order to improve bioavailability and to fine tune compounds’ activity. This review provides an overview of the catalogue of approaches available for accessing series of analogues. Over the last few years there have been major advances in genome sequencing and the development of tools for biosynthetic pathway engineering; it is therefore becoming increasingly easy to combine molecular biology and synthetic organic chemistry in order to enable expeditious access to series of natural products. This review outlines the various ways of combining biology and chemistry that have been applied to analogue generation, drawing upon a series of examples to illustrate each approach.