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Drug discovery potential of natural microbial genomes
Date:1/22/2014

inforest part of the chemical warfare that microbes deploy to out-compete one another and secure their niche in the environment," said co-investigator Victor Nizet, MD, professor of pediatrics and pharmacy at UC San Diego.

Such microbes have the genetic capacity to biosynthesize a wide range of specialized compounds. Although next-generation sequencing technologies can potentially exploit this capacity as an approach to natural drug discovery, researchers currently lack procedures to efficiently link genes with specific molecules. To help bridge this gap, the UC San Diego researchers developed a genetic platform based on transformation-associated recombination (TAR) cloning, which efficiently produces natural product molecules from uncharacterized gene collections.

The researchers applied the platform to yeast, targeting the taromycin gene cluster because of its high degree of similarity to the biosynthesis pathway of daptomycin, a clinically approved antibiotic used to treat infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria. "The technique has the potential to unlock the drug discovery potential of countless new and mysterious microbes," Nizet concluded.


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Contact: Debra Kain
ddkain@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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