In the context of integrated multistep selective synthesis, a more collaborative chemistry‐biochemistry intertwined approach to the synthesis of natural products would be of interest. Traditionally total synthesis and biosynthesis are parallel, only some biomimetic approaches are pursued in order to compare the in vitro chemical efficiency with the in vivo biosynthetic one. What if one can start chemically, then jump on the enzymatic transformation wagon, in order to solve a crossroad problem of the synthesis, then go back.
MEROS project proposes an entry into this strategic planning of natural products synthesis. Starting from natural target precursors and microbial cell-based catalysis, the in vitro/in vivo confrontation opens a new era of discovery in which reactivity and selectivity are not the only driving forces. In the presence of a xenobiotic, living cells tries to avoid its toxicity or to take benefit from the compound. This leads to unexpected diverse reactions and offers to the chemist a unique opportunity to think as a cell and not as a catalyst.