Chemoselective enrichment as a tool to increase access to bioactive natural products: Case study borrelidin

Darci J. Trader, Erin E. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Chemoselective purification technologies have seen great success in biomolecule isolation, with a classic example being the genetically-encoded His tag utilized to enrich desired proteins from a crude lysate. We sought to translate this purification tactic into a powerful tool for the isolation of natural products and demonstrate that chemoselective enrichment can reduce the number of purification steps required and increase the yield obtained for important natural products, as compared to the use of traditional chromatography methods alone. To date, we have reported reversible enrichment tags for three functional groups, carboxylic acids and aliphatic or aryl hydroxyls. To illustrate the power of chemoselectivity-mediated purification of natural products, we present here an improved isolation of borrelidin. Application of our carboxylic acid tag yielded pure borrelidin in only two steps and with double the yield acquired with traditional chromatography methods. These results highlight the utility of this orthogonal strategy to facilitate the isolation of natural products, which are often present in minute quantities in their source materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4767-4769
Number of pages3
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by an NSF CAREER Award, a Pew Biomedical Scholar Award (E.E.C.), and the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (Cottrell Scholar Award; E.E.C.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Borrelidin
  • Carboxylic acid
  • Chemoselective
  • Natural products


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