Medicinal Natural Products # 64304

Medicinal Natural Product: A Biosynthetic Approach - 64304

Syllabus: The course is used to outline the main building blocks and the basic construction mechanisms employed in the biosynthesis of natural products. Many of these fundamental principles should be familiar, having been met previously in courses dealing with the fundamentals of organic chemistry and biochemistry. These principles are then seen in action as representative natural product structures are described during a course, which subdivided initially into areas of metabolism fed by the acetate, shikimate, mevalonate and deoxyxylulose phosphate pathways.

The course tries to include a high proportion of those natural products currently used in medicine, the major drugs that are derived from natural materials by semi-synthesis, and those drugs, which are structural analogues. The course is also designed to be forward looking and gives information on possible leads to new drugs.

The primary aim of the course is not to rely just on factual information, but to impart an understanding of natural product structures and the way they are put together by living organisms. Rationalization based on mechanistic reasoning is paramount. The sequences themselves are not important; the mechanistic explanations for the processes used are the essence. Students should concentrate on understanding the broad features of the sequences, and absorb sufficient information to be able to predict how and why intermediates might be elaborated and transformed.