Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Little microbe inside sea squirt makes big splash

10.05.2005


Bacterial genome sheds light on synthesizing cancer-fighting compounds



Sea squirts around the world are breathing a sigh of relief, as they no longer run the risk of being harvested for their natural disease-fighting substances. Scientists recently discovered that the bacterium Prochloron didemnii, which lives symbiotically inside the sea squirt, actually produces the desired patellamides, compounds that may one day be used in cancer treatment.

Despite decades of attempts, scientists could not successfully cultivate Prochloron in the laboratory once the bacterium was isolated from the sea squirt. Because samples of Prochloron were easily contaminated with remnants of life inside its animal home, scientists couldn’t tell if the bacterium or the sea squirt produced the sought-after patellamides, until now.


By searching for patellamide synthesis instructions in genomic sequences, scientists found the bacterium indeed has the necessary genes to produce these potentially important biochemicals, solving the source mystery. Knowing which genes Prochloron used for patellamide production also allowed researchers to synthesize the potentially important compounds in the lab using a so-called laboratory workhorse, the bacterium E. coli.

Scientists from The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), the University of Utah and the University of California, San Diego, report findings in this week’s online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This project revealed detailed information about the metabolic capabilities of Prochloron, details that proved to be difficult to determine by other means, " said Patrick Dennis, manager for Prochloron genome sequencing at the National Science Foundation, which funded the study. "Furthermore, " he added, "by producing patellamides in the lab, the team demonstrated an important proof of principle for the biosynthesis of naturally occurring marine products."

Randy Vines | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nsf.gov
http://www.tigr.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Organ Crosstalk: Fatty Liver Can Cause Damage to Other Organs
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Diabetesforschung

nachricht Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>