Douglas J Pitera

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Isoprenoids are the most numerous and structurally diverse family of natural products. Terpenoids, a class of isoprenoids often isolated from plants, are used as commercial flavor and fragrance compounds and antimalarial or anticancer drugs. Because plant tissue extractions typically yield low terpenoid concentrations, we sought an alternative method to(More)
Engineering biosynthetic pathways in microbes for the production of complex chemicals and pharmaceuticals is an attractive alternative to chemical synthesis. However, in transferring large pathways to alternate hosts and manipulating expression levels, the native regulation of carbon flux through the pathway may be lost leading to imbalances in the(More)
In 2010 there were more than 200 million cases of malaria, and at least 655,000 deaths. The World Health Organization has recommended artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene endoperoxide with potent antimalarial properties, produced(More)
Malaria, caused by Plasmodium sp, results in almost one million deaths and over 200 million new infections annually. The World Health Organization has recommended that artemisinin-based combination therapies be used for treatment of malaria. Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone isolated from the plant Artemisia annua. However, the supply and price of(More)
Reconstructing synthetic metabolic pathways in microbes holds great promise for the production of pharmaceuticals in large-scale fermentations. By recreating biosynthetic pathways in bacteria, complex molecules traditionally harvested from scarce natural resources can be produced in microbial cultures. Here we report on a strain of Escherichia coli(More)
Many applications of synthetic biology require the balanced expression of multiple genes. Although operons facilitate coordinated expression of multiple genes in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, coordinating the many post-transcriptional processes that determine the relative levels of gene expression in operons by a priori design remains a challenge. We describe(More)
We describe a novel biosensor strain for detection and quantification of a small molecule, mevalonate. The biosensor strain is an Escherichia coli mevalonate auxotroph that expresses the green fluorescent protein and reports on the mevalonate concentration in the growth medium through a change in growth rate. A model describing the growth rate dependence on(More)
Producing complex chemicals using synthetic metabolic pathways in microbial hosts can have many advantages over chemical synthesis but is often complicated by deleterious interactions between pathway intermediates and the host cell metabolism. With the maturation of functional genomic analysis, it is now technically feasible to identify modes of toxicity(More)
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