Enzymatic tools for engineering natural product glycosylation

Sophie Blanchard, Jon S. Thorson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Glycosylated natural products have served as reliable platforms for the development of many existing front-line drugs. In an effort to explore the contribution of the sugar constituents of these compounds, research groups have focused upon the development of chemical and enzymatic tools to diversify natural product glycosylation. Among the complementary routes available, in vivo pathway engineering, also referred to as 'combinatorial biosynthesis', is an emerging method that relies upon the co-expression of sugar biosynthetic gene cassettes and glycosyltransferases in a host organism to generate novel glycosylated natural products. An overview of recent progress in combinatorial biosynthesis is highlighted in this review, emphasizing the elucidation of nucleotide-sugar biosynthetic pathways and recent developments on glycosyltransferases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-271
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This contribution was supported in part by the National Institute of Health grants AI52218, CA84374 and GM70637, and a National Cooperative Drug Discovery Group Grant U19 CA113297 from the National Cancer Institute. JST is a HI Romnes fellow. The authors thank JM Langenhan for helpful discussions.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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