Recent Developments in Natural Products: Potential Impact on Antibacterial Drug Discovery
Ronald J. Quinn and Jeffrey E. Janso
from: Emerging Trends in Antibacterial Discovery: Answering the Call to Arms (Edited by: Alita A. Miller and Paul F. Miller). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)
Natural products and derivatized natural products, produced mainly by actinomycetes, have been one of the most successful sources of drugs used to treat and cure infectious diseases. However, many bacteria have quickly become resistant to the majority of antibiotics in use today prompting an urgent need to discover new classes of antibacterial compounds. The goal of this chapter is to summarize some of the recent advances that favorably position natural products drug discovery in the quest to discover new antibacterial agents. This includes new sources of biodiversity such as plants and the oceans as well as the overlooked potential within common soil-derived actinomycetes. Other encouraging advancements include: (1) the development of new culturing techniques, which have enabled the isolation of microbes that were once thought to be uncultivable, (2) the impact of sequencing technology and bioinformatics that have made strain dereplication more reliable and revealed that actinomycete genomes encode far more secondary metabolite gene clusters than originally thought and (3) the use of innovative methods to express and exploit these orphan biosynthetic pathways. Finally, the ability to dereplicate, isolate and elucidate the structure of natural products from less and less sample quantity will also be discussed read more ...