The PNAS team is devoted to natural products under various aspects: isolation, analysis, synthesis. This team gathers a profound expertise in natural products, from extraction knowledge, to structural determination, advanced analysis of extracts, semi-synthesis, medicinal chemistry along with organic/organometallic methodology development and total synthesis.

The research axis of the team are developed according 4 different topics :

Axis 1: “Valorization of vegetal and fungal resources, Analysis and Standardization”

Staff members: Chouaha Bouzidi, Xavier Cachet (research axis coordinator), Hanh Dufat, Annabelle Dugay, Thomas Gaslonde, Martine Largeron, Pascale Leproux (part-time and part-time on the Mass platform), Sylvie Michel.

The purpose of this research axis is the development of convenient analytical tools and their application to the screening of plants (or fungi, or micro-algae) of interest in human health, as well as to the full characterization of their constituents. These analytical tools include i) electrochemical sensors for the biological screening of herbal/fungal samples or micro-algae in cell cultures; ii) new materials for solid-phase extraction in sample preparation and iii) hyphenated chromatographic methods-based tools.

Axis 2: “Phytochemistry”

Staff members: Sabrina Boutefnouchet, Raphaël Grougnet (research axis coordinator), Marina Kritsanida.

The skills of the members enable a dynamic and open-minded practice of natural products chemistry, based on a strong expertise in extraction, isolation and structural determination of metabolites, especially they will be in charge of the exploitation of natural resources, along with their biological evaluations (extracts, pure compounds). A bioguided procedure at large scale will provide original structures for new bioactive hits and a large number of complex molecules. A special care will be dedicated to limit the environmental impact mainly by using Pressurized Solvent Extractor and Centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC).

Axis 3: “Natural products, semi-synthesis, methods and scale-up”

Staff members: Brigitte Deguin (research axis coordinator), Marie-Christine Lallemand, Anne Neudörffer.

In this research axis the expertise stands in the isolation of natural products possessing poly-functional chiral skeleton at preparative scale to semi-pilot using eco-compatible separation techniques (CPC), and in chemical reactivity of vegetable metabolites with innovative methods such as biotransformation, green chemistry through CPC and electrochemistry. In this context, two families of molecules, iridoids and Polyprenylated AcylPhloroglucinols (PPAPs), have been chosen for their pharmacological potential or their structure well-suited to be transformed into chiral building blocks or precursors of molecules of therapeutic interest. The phytochemical starting materials will be extracted from plants belonging to botanical families known to contain the requisite secondary metabolites. Screening of active compounds will be performed by bioguided methods from genus Garcinia, Symphonia, Hypericum and Rhedia for PPAPs and from numerous wild, horticultural, medicinal and food plants for iridoids.

Axis 4: “Syntheses and Methods”

Staff members: Janick Ardisson, Philippe Belmont, Etienne Brachet, Luc Demange, Sabrina Dhambri, Marie-Isabelle Lannou, François-Hugues Porée (research axis coordinator), Geoffroy Sorin, Florence Souquet.

Members of this research axis have a long-standing experience in organometallic chemistry, organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry with an emphasis on the development and application of catalytic methods. Our group mainly focuses on the preparation of original polycyclic systems inspired from natural products and/or pharmaceuticals. Most specifically, cyclization of functionalized substrates to provide complex frameworks is targeted. Moreover our research potential will also be devoted to the synthesis of original structures newly extracted.