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Thuy Dang

Date & Location: January 24, 2022, at 4p; Virtual visit

Zoom Meeting Link: msu.zoom.us/j/95996313892 (Passcode: 862930)

Subject: Cytochrome P450s: Key Drivers of Alkaloid Chemical Diversification in Plants

Host: Bjoern Hamberger

About the Speaker

Institution: University of British Columbia

Abstract: Plants produce more than 20,000 nitrogen-containing heterocyclic metabolites called alkaloids. These chemicals serve numerous eco-physiological functions in the plants as well as medicines and psychedelic drugs for human for thousands of years, with the anti-cancer agent vinblastine and the painkiller morphine as the best-known examples. Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) play a key role in generating the structural variety and diversity of these compounds. Most alkaloid molecules are heavily oxygenated thanks to P450 enzymes’ activities. Moreover, the formation and re-arrangement of alkaloid scaffolds such as ring formation, expansion, and breakage that contribute to their structural diversity and bioactivity are mainly catalyzed by P450s. The talk will focus on recent discoveries of P450s involved in the chemical scaffolding and diversification of alkaloids and how these allow for further understanding of plant biosynthetic pathways and producing of plant-derived drugs.