Designer RiPPs: Engineering a New Source of Small Molecules
Synthetic compounds used in drug discovery are limited to a small region of structural space. We are engineering natural product pathways, a source of structurally diverse small molecules, to biosynthesize new compounds. Using ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) we have deconstructed pathways, tested enzymes individually, and characterized enzyme substrate tolerance. Future work to discover new enzymes and combine enzymes in new ways will enable biosynthesis of novel compounds for drug discovery.