Microbially derived P=S and P=Se bond formation

10 July 2024, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Microbial metabolism is a diverse and sustainable source of synthetic reagents that can be programmed for controlled and high-level production via synthetic biology. However, despite the chemical diversity of metabolism, the chemical utility of metabolites, and the available tools to control metabolic chemistry, there remain few examples of the use of cellular metabolites directly for chemical synthesis. Herein we report that diverse bacteria perform P=S bond formation (Ph3P to Ph3PS) via central sulfur metabolism and non-enzymatic chemistry in vivo and can also be applied to effect microbial P=Se bond formation (Ph3PSe). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first biochemical and genetic investigation of P=S bond formation in a microbial cell and the first use of microbial metabolites for P=Se bond formation in chemical synthesis.


chemical biotechnology
green chemistry


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