The phenazines are a large class of redox-active bacterial secondary metabolites that play an important role for cell survival by acting as antibiotics and virulence factors. Their biosynthesis may therefore be an interesting target for novel pharmaceuticals in the treatment of infectious disease.
Phenazines derive from chorismic acid through a conserved pathway what involves enzymes encoded in the phz-operon. Despite progress in the general understanding of the process, important details are still unclear due to the fact that phenazine biosynthesis proceeds through several unstable intermediates that are difficult to characterize. This proposal aims at filling the existing gaps by combining synthetic chemistry with biochemical and structural techniques.