Entries by Raimund Nagel

Pyrethrin biosynthesis: From a phytohormone to specialized metabolite

Raimund Nagel Universität Leipzig Department of Plant Physiology Leipzig, Saxony 04103 Germany raimund.nagel@uni-leipzig.de Dalmatian chrysanthemum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) contains pyrethrins, which are highly effective natural insecticides that are nontoxic to most animals and biodegradable. Purification of these natural compounds, however, is more costly than production of their synthetic analogs, although the synthetic analogs are less biodegradable […]

How plants and synthetic biology could help us fight diabetes

Dr. Raimund Nagel Iowa State University Plants produce a plethora of natural products that function as defensive compounds are frequently used by humans for medicinal purposes. A majority of these natural products, however, are either found in low concentrations, in slow growing plants, or are highly organ specific. Paclitaxel (Taxol), which is used to treat […]

A Bridge Between Kingdoms: Introduction of a Golden Gate-based Tool Kit for Cyanobacteria

One goal of synthetic biology is to build artificial pathways for bioengineering of high value compounds. To this end, pathways are not only split into individual reactions, but the expression of one enzyme is also split into individual parts (e.g., promotors, ribosomal binding sites, coding sequences, and terminators) that are used to optimize flux through […]

Moonlighting Enzymes: How Often Are We Missing Secondary Functions?

We think of enzymes as highly specific catalysts that carry out one reaction and show nearly absolute substrate specificity. However, absolute specificity is the exception, not the rule, as most enzymes accept several structurally similar substrates. Moreover, many enzymes catalyze alternative reactions and, in some cases, even perform functions that are best described as nonenzymatic […]

MicroProteins as the First Step toward a Master Key for Posttranslational Regulation

Determining the function of a gene often relies on transgenic plants with altered transcriptional or translational levels. This is usually achieved through overexpression, knockout, or knockdown. However, each of these approaches has specific advantages and drawbacks. For instance, knockouts, which can be created through CRISPR-Cas9 technology, support complete loss-of-function approaches. These, therefore, are inadequate for […]