Natural products are divided into primary metabolites and secondary metabolites. Primary metabolites are mostly formed by the synthesis and degradation of biological macromolecules and play an irreplaceable role in maintaining basic plant life activities throughout the life cycle; secondary metabolites are a variety of specific molecular types produced in organism-specific metabolic pathways, which often have a more complex backbone than primary metabolites and often occur at a certain stage of the life process. BOC Sciences has been developed by dissecting the functions of key enzymes in natural product biosynthetic pathways to understand the expression and regulation of genes, and thus the entire metabolic network. By modularizing biosynthesis-related metabolic pathways from different sources and assembling them on chassis cells, we use synthetic biology to achieve efficient biosynthesis and large-scale production of various important medicinal natural products.
BOC Sciences designs and reconstructs complete systems for the efficient and rapid production of medicinal active ingredients by modifying microorganisms or plants that already exist in nature, or within these organisms. This strategy requires firstly, speculating the biosynthetic pathway of the target natural product, secondly, identifying the key enzymes and cofactors required for each catalytic reaction step, then integrating the biosynthetic pathway into the chassis cell, and finally, optimally regulating the entire metabolic network.
Through the structure of target metabolites, the biosynthetic pathways of target compounds are inferred and used for catalase to study the biosynthetic pathways of target natural products.
After the biosynthetic pathway of the target natural product is clarified, the target key catalase needs to be mined and screened. In order to narrow down the range of candidate genes, screening of key catalase for biosynthetic pathways is often performed by combining multiple analysis methods of histological data, such as transcriptomics with genomics and metabolomics, and supplemented by enzyme expression profiling.
After mining a series of key candidate enzyme genes involved in natural product biosynthesis, the next step is to investigate the function of the enzymes. Firstly, the target enzymes are isolated and purified or heterologously expressed and purified by means of molecular biology; then the physicochemical properties of the enzymes are analyzed; next, the enzymes are functionally characterized to detect whether they catalyze the substrates to produce the corresponding products under appropriate conditions; finally, the kinetic properties of enzyme catalysis are studied to describe the catalytic characteristics of the enzymes from multiple perspectives.
After the catalytic functions of key enzymes for natural product biosynthesis are clarified through in vitro experiments, the functions of the target genes in the organism need to be investigated.
After confirming the functions of enzymes in the biosynthetic pathways of natural products in medicinal plants, in order to investigate the mechanism of enzymes' catalytic functions or to further modify the enzymes' catalytic functions in a targeted manner, we first need to conduct structural analysis of enzyme protein crystals to elucidate the structural basis of substrate selectivity and explain the reaction mechanism of enzymes' catalytic substrates. After that, we need to rationally design the discovered key amino acid sites to obtain a series of mutants with altered substrate specificity or catalytic efficiency, analyze the functions of the mutants, and finally obtain enzymes with specific functions to realize the targeted modification of enzyme functions.
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