Navigation Links
Bacteria in small sea life yield new way to make potential cancer drugs

Researchers led by a University of Utah medicinal chemist have developed a novel method to make drugs for cancer and other diseases from bacteria found in sponges and other small ocean creatures.

In a study published Sunday, Nov. 5, in Nature Chemical Biology online, researchers examined symbiotic bacteria that live only in sea squirts and other marine life. These bacteria are responsible for making a wealth of chemicals, which accumulate in the tissues of sea squirts and may help to defend them against predators. Many of these chemicals have anticancer properties, but harvesting them in quantities for large-scale testing and production has been impractical.

The new method uses genetic pathways in the bacteria to produce the small chemicals and to manipulate them to invent new potential drugs. The ability to make these chemicals in the laboratory opens myriad possibilities for developing drugs to fight cancer, HIV, and other diseases, according to Eric W. Schmidt, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy and senior author on the study.

"This represents a new way of attacking the problem," Schmidt said. "We're hoping we can use this to find a way to make natural molecules of compounds through single mutations in DNA."

To synthesize natural compounds, researchers have traditionally made them in the lab using labor-intensive routes. More recently, researchers have begun to use genes to make small molecules within laboratory strains of bacteria. This genetic synthesis method is complicated because it's still difficult to understand how changing genes can lead to changes in small drug molecules.

"The promise of genes is that you can access the tremendous natural diversity of the world's organisms to find new natural compounds for human health," Schmidt said. "You can also use genetic engineering to modify these compounds and invent new drugs to target human diseases."

Sea squirts live with diverse bacteria that synthesize many small molecules. By examining the natural chemical and genetic diversity found in sea squirts and their symbionts, Schmidt and his colleagues from around the country identified individual mutations responsible for changing from one compound to another. By mimicking this natural process, the researchers synthesized a completely new compound. This paves the way to the genetic creation of large chemical libraries for testing against human diseases.

"This proves the concept works," Schmidt said. "We can extract bacteria from animals, take DNA from the bacteria, and produce compounds."

Now that they've shown compounds can be synthesized from DNA, the researchers want to figure out how to produce greater quantities of compounds for testing and drug development. E. coli is a good producer of compounds, but yields are not yet practical.
'"/>

Source:University of Utah Health Sciences Center


Related biology news :

1. Bacteria collection sheds light on urinary tract infections
2. Solution to Pollution: New Bacteria Eats Toxic Waste
3. The Bacterias guide to survival
4. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
5. Bacterial genome sheds light on synthesizing cancer-fighting compounds
6. Where Bacteria Get Their Genes
7. Bacteria feed on smelly breath (and feet)
8. New insight into autoimmune disease: Bacterial infections promote recognition of self-glycolipids
9. Bacteria use hosts immune response to their competitive advantage
10. Say what? Bacterial conversation stoppers
11. Bacteria are key to green plastics, drugs

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 30, 2017 The research team of The ... (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery ... of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration ... ... A research team ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are ... 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by ... in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program ... in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... The Pittcon ... awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry ... Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which ... video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). ...
Breaking Biology Technology: