Manuel Duval

The metabonosphere, the system integrating secondary metabolites

Blog Post created by Manuel Duval on Feb 17, 2014

Metabolites are low molecular weight organic molecules.  In addition to macromolecules such as polypeptides, polyosides and lipids, they occur on our planet because of the activity of a biological system. Primary metabolites refer to the set of intermediate nodes of the metabolic pathways leading to the synthesis of the aforementioned high molecular weight biomolecules. Primary metabolism is a required component of life, but is not enough to sustain it in the continually changing conditions of the biosphere.  Hence is the second set of highly diverse biochemical matter, referred to as the secondary metabolites.  This set, which has also been referred to as idiolites, is the chemical entities used by organisms to interact with their environment. Living systems have deployed communication networks by means of synthesizing and releasing these idiolites.  These biologically derived molecules have an intended information content (e.g. defence and/or signal molecules) as well as collateral biological activities towards other organisms, including humans. Systematic approaches are applied to describe idiolites metabolic networks, in the scope of inferring their biological effects as well as their potential benefit for human health.


This exciting topics of Chemical Biology will be discussed on March 20th, 2014 at the New York Academy of Sciences: