Design of computational retrobiosynthesis tools for the design of de novo synthetic pathways

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2015 Oct:28:99-104. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2015.06.025. Epub 2015 Jul 11.


Designing putative metabolic pathways is of great interest in synthetic biology. Retrobiosynthesis is a discipline that involves the design, evaluation, and optimization of de novo biosynthetic pathways for the production of high-value compounds and drugs from renewable resources and natural or engineered enzymes. The best candidate pathways are then engineered within a metabolic network of microorganisms that serve as synthetic platforms for synthetic biology. The complexity of biological chemistry and metabolism requires computational approaches to explore the full possibilities of engineering synthetic pathways towards target compounds. Herein, we discuss recent developments in the design of computational tools for retrosynthetic biochemistry and outline the workflow and design elements for such tools.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biosynthetic Pathways*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Synthetic Biology / methods*
  • Systems Biology / methods*