Project: Genome mining for drug discovery: Activation of silent biosynthetic gene clusters

The GenoDrug proposal aims at the development of a new technology for drug discovery, i.e. the activation of previously silent biosynthetic gene clusters of microbial genomes. Microbial natural products have an outstanding track record as drugs and drug leads since more than sixty years. However, conventional screening programs increasingly result in the re-discovery of already known compounds. Sequencing of many microbial genomes, especially from actinomycetes, has now revealed that the genome of each strain contains gene clusters for the formation of 10-30 bioactive compounds ("secondary metabolites"). This implies that for any actinomycete strain most of its potential as producer of bioactive compounds is yet undiscovered. An economy which can harness this potential is likely to take an international lead in the development of new antibiotics, anticancer drugs and other pharmaceuticals in future. The bottleneck in the economical exploitation of this strategy is the development of technologies which allow the utilization of DNA sequence data of secondary metabolic gene clusters to generate the encoded compounds, in quantities sufficient for characterization, pharmacological testing and preclinical drug development. The GenoDrug proposal will develop such technologies and demonstrate their applicability in drug discovery by the identification of several novel bioactive compounds.

Acronym GenoDrug
Website visit project website
Network ERA-IB
Call 2nd ERA-IB Joint Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
EntreChem SL Spain
Eberhard Karls University of Tubingen Coordinator Germany
University of Wroclaw Poland
University of Groningen Netherlands
University of Oviedo Spain
Galilaeus Finland