Earlier this year, research at the Kee-Hong Kim lab of Purdue University had preliminary evidence showing that a trans-stilbene compound, Piceatannol, had an ability to inhibit the development of human adipose cells. The mechanism is based around the idea that Piceatannol interacts with a preadipocyte's (immature fat cell) insulin receptors in such a way that surpresses it's growth into a mature adipose cell. Piceatannol is a metabolite of resveratrol, a compoud currently under investigation for possible anti-cancer properites. Piceatannol differs from resveratrol by one hydroxyl group on one of the aromatic rings.
Piceatannol is currently very costly to synthesize. On the advent of such a discovery, we felt that if we were to engineer a pathway to optimize the production of Piceatannol from cheaper substrates through the utilization of our PUF and RNA scaffold projects, we could show the versatility of our PUF toolkit working with an RNA scaffold.
However, before researchers can begin using our PUF toolkit to produce piceatannol in vivo, we took steps to acquire and characterize the necessary genes for our: