Natural products isolated from fungus and bacteria have a complex biosynthetic pathways that involves many enzymes for their production. Elucidation of their biosynthesis can be very useful devising methodologies for the natural products which are short and more environment friendly. Understanding of biosynthetic pathways could help us produce natural products which are scarcely available from natural resources and are difficult to synthesize chemically. The focus of our group is elucidate the biosynthesis of natural products like bisanthraquinones (cytoskyrin A) isolated from Curvularia lunata, GTRI-02 or mensalone isolated from many Streptomyces st. wailupemycin G and F isolated from Streptomyces martitimus, and fungal metablites such as crysanthones A-C.
The major theme of our group is to work towards making efficient use of new as well as known enzymes in the chemoenzymatic synthesis of complex natural products.
The enzymes of our interest are
i) C-C bond forming enzymes (Cytochrome P450, Thymine diphophate dependent enzymes etc.)
ii) Naphthol redcutase enzymes (NADPH dependent Tetrahydroxynaphthalene reductase, trihydroxynaphthalene redcutase etc.)
iii) Oxidoreductases (NADPH dependent keto reductases etc)
iv) radical enzymes (SAM dependent enzymes, xanthine oxidases etc.).
The advantage of using enzymes are enormous, they are green in nature, highly stereo- and regioselective nature and can accept broad range of substrates. Exploiting and exploring the catalytic ability of enzymes is a challange, which requires the thorough knowledge of chemistry.
Oxidative stress caused by excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been known to be the cause of many pathophysiological diseases such as sickle cell, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart failure and myocardial infarction. Among all ROS, superoxide (O2•–) being the precursor for other radical species, is known to have roles in cell signalling, regulation of secondary metabolism, and epigenetic processes.In our group we are working on to investigate the role of ROS in modifying biomolecules such as DNA, proteins and lipids. This could answer many questions pertaining the role of oxidative stress in causing diseases as well as in gaining the molecular level information.