Engineering the synthesis of natural and non-natural anthocyanins in Escherichia coli
Koffas, Mattheos Principal Investigator
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CBET-0756601 Koffas Intellectual Merit The goal of this project is to develop methodologies for the synthesis of natural and non-natural chemical structures of polyphenols such as anthocyanins that can be used as dyes but also have potential nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications. As the biosynthesis, applications and biochemical mechanisms of the anthocyanins gain definition, the need for standardized synthetic processes that can produce any natural anthocyanin as well as non-natural anthocyanin derivatives efficiently and in high purity gains in importance. Such syntheses would take advantage of advances in organic synthesis and metabolic engineering in order to create unique synthetic platforms for potentially thousands of compounds that mimic the natural anthocyanin chemical structures. The convergent use of these disparate technologies will enable one to synthesize common, rare and non-natural compounds in high abundance and help understand the beneficial health effects of plant polyphenols in carefully controlled studies. Broader Impact: Broader impact will result through an aggressive outreach activity aimed at increasing the awareness of the general public on the vast opportunities and promise bioengineering has to offer. By continuing participation in summer workshops organized by the Center for Computational Research, the Principal Investigator (PI) will provide a unique educational experience to a wide pool of high-school teachers and students. In addition, through the PI's continuing participation in various programs at the University of Buffalo aimed at recruiting minority high-school students for summer internships, this project will offer mentoring opportunities for minorities and economically disadvantaged groups.