Phytocannabinoids: Origins and Biosynthesis

 Cell Press Internship (part 1) – lionfishexplorer“Phytocannabinoids are bioactive natural products found in some flowering plants, liverworts, and fungi that can be beneficial for the treatment of human ailments such as pain, anxiety, and cachexia. Targeted biosynthesis of cannabinoids with desirable properties requires identification of the underlying genes and their expression in a suitable heterologous host. We provide an overview of the structural classification of phytocannabinoids based on their decorated resorcinol core and the bioactivities of naturally occurring cannabinoids, and we review current knowledge of phytocannabinoid biosynthesis in Cannabis, Rhododendron, and Radula species. We also highlight the potential in planta roles of phytocannabinoids and the opportunity for synthetic biology approaches based on combinatorial biochemistry and protein engineering to produce cannabinoid derivatives with improved properties.”

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