Synthetic Biology: A Novel Approach for Pharmaceutically Important Compounds
Synthetic biology is the new emerging discipline of science which combines principles of engineering with biology to redesign a living system to produce something it would not naturally produce. The living cells will alter through recombinant DNA technology to meet specific purposes. Since, fungi are themselves established cell factories in pharmaceutical industry. The versatile chemical entities secreted by these organisms have tremendous benefits. The need of the hour is to club synthetic biology and mycology to enhance gains. The great success of synthetic biology in the field of bio-production with the success story of artemisinin will likely influence the early stages of drug discovery. Next future interests are likely in the rational design of new biochemicals through genetic shuffling of biosynthetic modules in order to be compliant with large-scale production within microorganisms. However, it is also possible to anticipate technical constraints (current efficiency) as the majority of work performed in synthetic biology is in basic science rather than applied science to understand fundamental processes. Majority of projects were centered on developing new experimental and computational tools, using synthetic biology to understand how organism work or to generate minimal cells that can be counted as time constraint as it is also evident in case of semi-artiseminin where it took 10 long years. New molecular compounds as well as hosts were formed and manipulated for human benefit. Engineered systems are rapidly becoming a reality which is based on advances in our ability to edit genome and identify and optimize biosynthetic building blocks. This can help in creating a library of new pathways and novel compounds. But at the same time, ethical issues centered about the complete engineering of a new living organism or redesigning of existing species caught negative attention. It may or may not create problem but danger of evolving a new virulent strains always crossed in mind. Anyways, bolder initiatives are needed in funding for using this technology as it will be benefitted by the advancement of computational and engineering technology which in the future will move many more examples.
KeywordsBioengineering Cell factories Artiseminin Taxol®
The authors are grateful to the Department of Molecular Biology, Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar; and Department of Genetics & Plant Breeding, GB Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar for providing the facilities and financial support, to undertake the investigations. There are no conflicts of interest.
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