Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Novel method for increasing antibiotic yields

06.09.2011
A novel way of increasing the amounts of antibiotics produced by bacteria has been discovered that could markedly improve the yields of these important compounds in commercial production.

It could also be valuable in helping to discover new compounds. With the ever-growing threat from antibiotic resistance, these tools will be very useful in ensuring that we have enough of these useful compounds in the future.

The majority of antibiotics we know of today are produced naturally by a group of soil bacteria called Streptomyces. For commercial production of these antibiotics for clinical use, it is necessary to increase the yield. This has typically been achieved by randomly inducing mutations and screening for strains that show increased production, a process that takes many years. When technology had progressed sufficiently to analyse how this had been achieved scientists found that, in some cases, the increase in yield was due to repeated copies of the genes needed for antibiotic production.

In almost all cases, the genes needed to produce these antibiotics are clustered together in the bacterial genome. In work carried out initially at the John Innes Centre, which is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Professor Mervyn Bibb and collaborator Dr Koji Yanai from a Japanse laboratory discovered 36 repeating copies of one gene cluster in a strain of Streptomyces that had been repeatedly selected to over-produce the antibiotic kanamycin.

"This suggested to us that controlled and stable amplification of antibiotic gene clusters might be possible, and that if it was, it would be a valuable tool for engineering high yielding commercial strains of bacteria," said Prof Bibb. The researchers then went on to identify the components within Streptomyces responsible for creating the 36 repeating clusters that led to kanamycin overproduction. These consist of two DNA sequences that flank the gene cluster, and a protein, known as ZouA, that recognises the two sequences and replicates them.

In research to be published in the journal Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, Prof Bibb and colleagues Dr Takeshi Murakami and Prof Charles Thompson, working at the University of British Columbia, together with the same Japanese pharmaceutical laboratory, describe a system for the targeted amplification of gene clusters. The researchers were able to engineer these components into genetic 'cassettes' and then insert these into another strain of Streptomyces. They successfully used the system to make Streptomyces coelicolor overproduce actinorhodin, a blue-pigmented antibiotic. They believe the system will work equally as well for many other Streptomyces strains and antibiotics, and have also shown that it functions in an unrelated bacterium, Escherichia coli.

The system may also uncover new, undiscovered antibiotics. A number of Streptomyces species have had their entire genomes sequenced, and many more are expected. Researchers have been able to identify other gene clusters within these sequences with unknown products. It is likely that many of these 'cryptic' gene clusters produce potentially new antibiotics, but at an undetectable level, or only under specific environmental conditions. Using the gene cluster amplification system identified here, it will be possible to amplify these cryptic gene clusters, identify their products, and potentially discover new antibiotics for the battle against resistant superbugs.

Reference: A novel system for the amplification of bacterial gene clusters multiplies antibiotic yield in Streptomyces coelicolor, Murakami et al, will be published by PNAS Online Early Edition the week of September 5-9, 2011 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1108124108

Andrew Chapple | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nbi.ac.uk

Further reports about: DNA sequence Escherichia coli Murakami Streptomyces new antibiotics

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>