From Rare Soil Microbe, Scientists Searching for New Antibiotics Discover Novel Anti-Cancer Candidate

Demand for new kinds of antibiotics is surging, as drug-resistant and emerging infections are becoming an increasingly serious global health threat. Researchers are racing to reexamine certain microbes that serve as one of our most successful sources of therapeutics: the actinomycetes. In such a search, scientists at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL) and the University of Hawaii have discovered a potential candidate for cancer drug development from one such microbe, the soil bacterium known as Lentzea flaviverrucosa. They reported their findings in a study published April 19, 2022 in PNAS. The article is titled “Discovery of Unusual Dimeric Piperazyl Cyclopeptides Encoded by a Lentzea flaviverrucosa DSM 44664 Biosynthetic Supercluster.” “Rare actinomycetes are an underexploited source of new bioactive compounds,” said Joshua Blodgett (photo), PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology in Arts & Sciences at WUSL, co-corresponding author of the new study. “Our genomics-based approach allowed us to identify an unusual peptide for future drug design efforts.”
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