Nature Catalysis News & Views

“Polyketide synthases are multi-domain enzymes that catalyze the construction of many bioactive natural products. Now, some of the inefficiencies and limitations of these systems have been solved by designing an artificial pathway for carbon–carbon bond formation via iterative rounds of non-decarboxylative thio-Claisen reactions.”

Grateful for the opportunity along with Anuran Kumar Gayen and Lindsay Nichols to discuss Ramon Gonzalez’s excellent Nature Catalysis research article on artificial polyketide biosynthesis.

See Ramon’s article at and our News & Views piece at


SIME: synthetic insight-based macrolide enumerator to generate the V1B library of 1 billion macrolides

Excited to announce our latest publication and collaboration with the Fourches group in the NC State Chemistry, “SIME: synthetic insight-based macrolide enumerator to generate the V1B library of 1 billion macrolides”. This advance allows in silico libraries of macrolides to be constructed based on the knowledge of polyketide biosynthesis. It’s a first step towards the generation of new bioactive macrolides by combining synthetic biology and computational chemistry.

Genetically Encoded Biosensor for Detection of Polyketide Synthase Extender Units in Escherichia coli

Our latest paper in ACS Synthetic Biology describes the first genetically-encoded biosensor for detection of polyketide synthase extender units in cells. Because the biosensor is genetically encoded, the cell makes all of the necessary components and the entire system can be subjected to directed evolution. A biosensor for detection of various acyl-CoA’s will help synthetic biology approaches for sustainable production of natural products in microbes.