The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Istvan Molnar and Leslie Gunatilaka's work on Fungal Polyketide Engineering is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science and the work is featured in a PNAS commentary

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Professors Istvan Molnar, Leslie Gunatilaka, and their research group from SNRE's Natural Products Research Center have had their article, "Diversity-oriented combinatorial biosynthesis of benzenediol lactone scaffolds by subunit shuffling of fungal polyketide synthases" published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). The article can be viewed online. PNAS has also published a commentary that discusses the importance of Dr. Molnar et al's findings. 

From the commentary: "As more and more BDL structures and their associated biosynthetic gene clusters are revealed, a straightforward bioengineering approach to expand the chemical space naturally explored by BDL structures was envisaged by Xu et al. to recombine unnatural pairs of BDL hrPKS and nrPKS elements. A major knowledge gap prior to this study by Xu et al. was whether noncognate hrPKS and nrPKS pairs could indeed interact with each other in a productive fashion. For the first time, the authors provide experimental evidence that hrPKS and nrPKSs from different biosynthetic pathways can be combined to yield new chemical entities. Consequently, this work helps illuminate the underlying biochemical rules that dictate biosynthesis by these fascinating enzymatic machines."