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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Revalorizing Lignocellulose for the Production of Natural Pharmaceuticals and Other High Value Bioproducts

Author(s): Congqiang Zhang* and Heng-Phon Too*

Volume 26 , Issue 14 , 2019

Page: [2475 - 2484] Pages: 10

DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170912095755

Price: $65


Lignocellulose is the most abundant renewable natural resource on earth and has been successfully used for the production of biofuels. A significant challenge is to develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly and efficient processes for the conversion of lignocellulose materials into suitable substrates for biotransformation. A number of approaches have been explored to convert lignocellulose into sugars, e.g. combining chemical pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. In nature, there are organisms that can transform the complex lignocellulose efficiently, such as wood-degrading fungi (brown rot and white rot fungi), bacteria (e.g. Clostridium thermocellum), arthropods (e.g. termite) and certain animals (e.g. ruminant). Here, we highlight recent case studies of the natural degraders and the mechanisms involved, providing new utilities in biotechnology. The sugars produced from such biotransformations can be used in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for the complete biosynthesis of natural medicine. The unique opportunities in using lignocellulose directly to produce natural drug molecules with either using mushroom and/or ‘industrial workhorse’ organisms (Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae) will be discussed.

Keywords: Lignocellulose, natural products, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, secondary metabolites, drugs.

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