Award Value £88,313,00. Research fellowship: Synthetic biology tools applied to the production of anticancer drug taxol in S. Cerevisiae and its optimization through biosensors

Project Details

Description

Taxol (paclitaxel) is one of the most powerful and most commonly used anticancer drugs, originally extracted from yew trees of the genus Taxus Brevifolia (Guerra-Bubb et al. 2012). Methods of initial production required the sacrifice of up to 4 mature trees to obtain a dosage and the structural complexity of taxol limits its chemical synthesis, requiring up to 50 chemical reactions with a yield of 0.4%. These production methods are unsustainable, creating supply problems that have limited the use of taxol in the underprivileged sectors of the population, as well as limiting the study and use of taxol derivates in the search for more efficient drugs.
This proposal aims to design and build the complete taxol biosynthetic pathway in S. cerevisiae (19 steps) and optimize it through the use of biosensors, minimizing the time and costs associated to optimize such complex routes. Achieving the synthesis of such an important compound in a heterologous host, while reaching pharmaceutically relevant concentrations would have a profound environmental, industrial and social impact, crystallizing the promises of synthetic biology, and allowing greater access to the population of the benefits of taxol and its derivatives.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/09/151/09/17