Functional Molecules from Natural Sources

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Naturally occurring compounds, or natural products, have been and continue to be an important source of commercially successful products and leads in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and nutritional sectors. The conference Functional Molecules from Natural Sources, which was held at Magdalen College, Oxford in July 2009, set out to highlight current trends, challenges and successes in the exploitation of natural products from microbial, plant and marine sources. This book is based on the proceedings of the conference and comprises modern and emerging perspectives on natural product utilization and improved strategies for their exploitation. Several case studies on important natural product leads, or functional molecules, are presented with the strategy for their development. These detail new medical applications in the use of familiar natural molecules and advances in the understanding and manipulation of natural product biosynthesis at the genetic level. Highlights include an authoritative review of the entire field of natural anticancer agents emphasising those currently in clinical development, an account of the optimisation of the pleuromutilin antibiotic template for human use and a comprehensive description of the research programme that resulted in the discovery of platensimycin. Articles on biosynthesis include studies of the antibiotics of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), the anthrax siderophore petrobactin and the modification of oxidation and glycosylation events in the biosynthesis of mithramycins. Written by leading industrial and academic practitioners from each sector, the book offers authoritative updates on new approaches to the use of naturally occurring compounds within the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and agrochemical industries.