Nature’s enzymatic machinery for constructing organic molecules has long been a source of inspiration for synthetic molecule makers. As part of the Center we have an extensive program that employs and re-engineers proteins for C–H functionalization.
This collaborative report from the Sherman and Dick groups reports the identification and analysis of a bacterial endosymbiont that has been identified to be responsible for the production of the clinically approved chemotherapeutic natural product ET-743 and related members saframycin, saframycin A and saframycin MX1.
These studies have provided a detailed understanding of the biosynthetic route for these natural products that includes a selective C–H oxidation. Future work within the Center will focus on exploring the activity of the enzymes responsible for this step and the development of a synthetically useful biocatalyst.