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Combinatorial biosynthesis: generation of novel therapeutic substances by combining genes from actinomycetes and cyanobacteria


The research aims to find novel therapeutic substances.

This will be achieved by:
i) screening of bacteria, preferably actinomycetes and cyanobacteria with modern fingerprinting techniques and by;
ii) combinatorial biosynthesis.

The later approach includes the creation of expression system for cyanobacteria genes. The compounds obtained from wild type bacteria and those derived from genetically engineered strains are screened through antimicrobial, antitumour and receptor based systems. Biopharmaceutical evaluation of the hits that will be found in the project lead to optimisation of the promising target molecule in the early phase of drug development process. Seven European groups, four academic and three SMEs form the multidisciplinary team to make the project.
Cyanomyces-project as an EC-funded project has been finished, however the project is continued on its own. The screening techniques have been established. Altogether 314 actinomycetes and 273 cyanobacteria were screened and detailed primary analysis of the data of different approaches, DNA-fingerprinting, chemical characterization (HPLC and MALDI-TOF-MS) and bioactivity assays was done. Easily isolated natural compounds, mainly those from actinomycetes have been purified and were structurally elucidated including three new products. However, after evaluation of the screening data we have promising hits, which will be isolated in the future. Biopharmaceutical studies with the model molecule, a known compound, were started. Genes identified are currently in heterologous expression studies in Streptomyces hosts. So far two new compounds have been identified from GMOs. Expression of cyanobacterial genes in a Streptomyces host was successful. This was the first time when the expression of cyanobacteria-derived gene was reported.

Call for proposal

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Kairiskulmantie 10

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EU contribution
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Participants (6)