Dynamic Aspects Of Natural Products Chemistry  book cover
1st Edition

Dynamic Aspects Of Natural Products Chemistry

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ISBN 9789057022098
Published November 21, 1997 by CRC Press
312 Pages

USD $245.00

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Book Description


Natural products chemistry has a long history, and could be regarded as having its roots in the use of many kinds of herbal mixtures as crude drugs in traditional medicine. Systems of traditional medicine have been practiced in China and Japan for thousands of years, and virtually all regions of the world have used natural materials to treat human disease. It was clear that many plants, herbs, etc. contain components with powerful biological activities. The dawn of modern natural products chemistry began with the isolation of the active component, morphine, from opium. Subsequently, various alkaloids were isolated from medicinal plants and employed clinically. The discovery and the development of penicillin as a microbial metabolite opened up the era of antibiotics, which have saved countless lives in the past half century or so. The isolation and synthesis of steroid hormones resulted in the development of new concepts in molecular stereochemistry and organic synthetic techniques, as did the discovery of bioactive lipids such as prostaglandins and leukatrienes, bioactive peptides such as enkephalins and endetherines, and oligosaccharides, including glycoproteins. Further, the discovery of plant hormones has led to great strides in plant biotechnology, including plant tissue cultures, and derivatives of insect hormones and pheromones are now used as pesticides. Thus, applications of natural products chemistry have become all-pervasive in modern society.

Apart from the extensive practical applications of natural products and their derivatives, natural products chemistry has played a central role in the development of modern organic chemistry as a result of its focus on structural and synthetic studies of often highly complex and inaccessible molecules. Biosynthetic studies have also attracted much attention, aiming to answer the questions of why and how such a large number and variety of compounds are synthesised by organisms. Researchers in the field of biosynthesis first focused on elucidation of the pathways of secondary metabolism, and then on the mechanisms, of the enzymes catalyzing the biosynthetic reactions. This was an extremely difficult task, because rather large amounts of enzymes are required for the investigation of reaction mechanisms and the enzyme proteins are often unstable and not easy to purify. However, in recent years the development of molecular biology has made gene and protein engineering rather routine. Thus, studies of mechanistic enzymology can now be conducted with cloned and overexpressed enzyme proteins. It has been shown that the enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of antibiotics in Streptomyces spp. are encoded in gene clusters. Further, cloning and functional analysis of the genes associated with flavonoid biosynthesis should soon cast light on the interesting question of why flavonoids are ubiquitously present in plant leaves.

Life is maintained not only by large molecules such as proteins and nucleic acids, but also by many small molecules which have essential and diverse roles in the physiology of living organisms. Such compounds often have highly specific interactions with target receptors, but the mechanisms involved largely remain to be explored. Current methodology means that this task can be addressed, and this in turn should lead to a host of new applications for natural products and their derivatives. The key may be an interdisciplinary approach taking account of both biological function and molecular behaviour based on precise structure recognition. As we increasingly understand the mechanisms of molecular recognition that operate in nature, many possibilities should open up for artificial control or modification of biological functions, as well as new challenges for synthetic organic chemists.

Our intention in this book is to focus on such dynamic aspects of natural products chemistry. By dealing in detail with representative topics to which the most modern techniques of research have been applied, we hope to emphasize the value of combining traditional approaches to natural products chemists with current biochemical and molecular-biological ideas. Each chapter provides sufficient background information and experimental detail to make the subject accessible to non-specialists. It is our hope that these examples of recent progress in key areas of natural products chemistry will stimulate work in related topics by illustrating the power of a modern interdisciplinary approach to the subject.

Table of Contents

1 Mechanistic Enzymology and Molecular Genetics of Chain Elongation in Isoprenoid Biosynthesis
Kyozo Ogura and Tanetoshi Koyama

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Farnesyl Diphosphate Synthase
1.3 Geranylgeranyl Diphosphate Synthase
1.4 Bacterial Prenyltransferases
1.5 Summary

2 Biosynthesis of Isoflavone and Related Compounds in Tissue Cultures of Pueraria lobata
Ushio Sankawa and Takashi Hakamatsuka

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Formation of the Flavonoid Skeleton by Chalcone Synthase
2.3 Characterization of Chalcone-Flavone Isomerase
2.4 Characterization of Isoflavone Synthase
2.5 Purification and Characterization of Dehydratase that Forms Isoflavone
2.6 Perspective

3 Carotenoid Biosynthesis at the Gene Level
Norihiko Misawa

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Functional Analysis of Erwina Carotenoid Biosynthesis Genes
3.3 Functional Analysis of Astaxanthin Biosynthesis Genes
3.4 Functional Analysis of Carotenoid Biosynthesis Genes
3.5 Perspectives

4 Biosynthesis of Monoterpenoids in Higher Plants: Mechanisms of Chain Elongation and Chiral Center Generation
Takayuki Suga and Yoshikazu Hiraga

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Chain Elongation of the E-Prenyl Chain
4.3 Stereochemical Control in the Biosynthesis of Cyclic Monoterpenoids

5 Biogeneration of So-called Green Odor Components by Plant Leaves
Akikazu Hatanaka

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Biosynthetic Pathway for Green Odor Components
5.3 Enzymes Involved in Biogeneration of Green Odor Components
5.4 Relationship of Enzyme Activities to the Environment
5.5 Perspectives

6 Biological Diels-Alder Reaction in Biosynthesis of Phytoxins
Akitami Ichihara and Hideaki Oikawa

6.1 Introduction
6.2 Biosynthesis of Betaenones
6.3 Biosynthesis of Chaetoglobosins
6.4 Biosynthesis of Solanapyrones
6.5 Perspectives

7 Biosynthesis of Natural C-P Compounds, Bialaphos and Fosfomycin
Haruo Seto and Tomomi Hidaka

7.1 Introduction
7.2 Biosynthesis of Bialaphos
7.3 Biosynthesis of Fosfomycin
7.4 Conclusion

8 Regulation of Antibiotic Production: Protein Serine/Threonine Kinases and Autoregulators
Sueharu Horinouchi

8.1 Introduction
8.2 AfsR and AfsQ1 as Global Regulators for Secondary Metabolism
8.3 Protein Serine/Threonine Kinases as Global Regulators
8.4 Autoregulators
8.5 Concluding Remarks

9 Mechanistic Enzymology and Molecular Recognition of 3-Isopropylmalate Dehydrogenase Derived from the Extreme Thermophile, Thermus thermophilus HB8
Katsumi Kakinuma

9.1 Introduction
9.2 Structure of a 3-Isopropylmalate Dehydrogenase
9.3 Reaction Mechanism
9.4 Substrate Recognition
9.5 Design of Fluorinated Analogues and Mechanistic Analysis
9.6 Modification of a 3-Isopropylmalate Dehydrogenase and Related Dehydrogenase
9.7 Interactions of 3-Isopropylmalate Dehydrogenase and Substrate and Coenzyme
9.8 Perspectives

10 Biosynthesis of Cyclic Bromo Ethers from Red Algae
Akio Murai

10.1 Introduction
10.2 Proposed Biogenetic Routes to Cyclic Bromo Ethers
10.3 Biosynthetic Studies on Cyclic Bromo Ethers with Lactoperoxidase
10.4 Purification of Bromoperoxidase from Laurencia nipponica
10.5 Biosynthetic Studies on Cyclic Bromo Ethers with Bromoperoxidase
10.6 Present Status of Research

11 Molecular Biology and Engineering of Biosynthesis of Cysteine and Biogenetically Related Non-protein Amino Acids in Plants
Kazuki Saito

11.1 Introduction
11.2 Natural Occurrence of Non-protein ß-Substituted Alanines
11.3 General Biosynthetic Route of Non-protein ß-Substituted Alanines
11.4 Molecular Cloning of Cysteine Synthases and Related Enzymes
11.5 Molecular Engineering
11.6 Future Prospects

12 Pharmacological Applications of Physiologically Active Natural Products
Yasushi Ohizumi

12.1 Introduction
12.2 Elucidation of Molecular Mechanisms of Ion Channels
12.3 Mechanistic Studies of Contractile Proteins
12.4 Characterising Key Enzymes in Intracellular Signalling

13 Mechanisms in New Bioluminescence Systems
Mamoru Ohashi

13.1 Introduction
13.2 Chemiluminescence and Bioluminescence of Imidazopyrazines
13.3 Bioluminescence of New Systems
13.4 Mechanisms of Excited-State Formation by Chemical Reactions


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