An integrated effort for the efficient production and further exploitation of the potent natural anti-inflammatory compound neorogioltriol and its congeners
Funding Body: GSRT
Neorogioltriol (NRG) is a brominated diterpene isolated from the endemic red alga Laurencia glandulifera.
NRG is a powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory compound, which is several hundred-fold more potent than aspirin and equally potent to morphine. However, further exploitation of NRG is hampered by low availability. Currently, there is no economically viable method for the chemical synthesis of NRG, neither a consistent natural source for the isolation of the bioactive compound.
Current research aims to overcome this limitation by an integrated approach that combines systems biology, metabolic engineering, and aquaculture for the efficient production of NRG, with chemical, biological and pharmacological studies that are essential for its further exploitation.
Employing a differential transcriptome analysis of Laurencia glandulifera populations that differ in their ability to produce NRG, the consortium will identify candidate genes that are involved in the biosynthesis of NRG, characterize the biosynthetic pathway, and transplant it to yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) for the production of the active compound. In parallel, partners will attempt to tackle current difficulties in the cultivation of Laurencia species, aiming to provide an alternative source of NRG through aquaculture. This approach is complemented by in vivo biological and pharmacological studies aiming to pinpoint the molecular mechanism of NRG’s anti-inflammatory action, establish efficient delivery methods, and evaluate its stability; all essential components for further industrial exploitation of this potent natural product. The combined activities of the partners constitute a comprehensive approach that can result in bringing a highly potent compound from the host organism to the bedside.