Functional and structural characterisation of unusual carbohydrate-processing enzymes in natural product biosynthesis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: School of Life Sciences


Many bioactive natural products currently utilised as anticancer and antibiotic agents are glycosylated. The presence of carbohydrate moieties in these molecules is essential to their medicinal activity. Microorganisms that produce natural products harbor innumerous intriguing carbohydrate- processing enzymes, including glycosyltransferases, which are responsible for the making of unusual sugars and their ultimate attachment to natural product aglycones of various origins (e.g. polyketides and nonribosomal peptides).
The detailed elucidation of these enzymes catalytic mechanisms and structural architecture constitutes the basis for the development of novel biotacalysts and of novel synthetic biology approaches towards the generation of 'unnatural' products- molecules that are still produced biosynthetically but that are structurally diversified (e.g. differently glycosylated) from their original counterparts, and may be of superior value.
The aim of this PhD project is to elucidate the function and the structure of biosynthetic enzymes involved in unusual natural product glycosylation. The outcomes of this work will constitute the basis for the development of novel biocatalytic routes to diversified natural products.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2097369 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2022 Heather Scott