Integrated Approaches for Marine Actinomycete Biodiscovery
- Pp. 1-40 (40)Larissa Buedenbender, Anthony Richard Carroll and D. İpek Kurtböke
Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, microbial natural products have been exploited as an unexhausted resource for biodiscovery by the pharmaceutical industry. Unlike primary metabolites such as amino acids, carbohydrates and fatty acids that maintain function and utilized for the growth of an organism; secondary metabolites are specific to its producer but not essential for survival. However, the structural complexity of these natural products is closely linked to the ecological role of the producing organism that supports their survival in their niche. Sessile or slowmoving organisms thus rely more heavily on bioactive secondary metabolites, which act as defences, antimicrobials, allelochemicals, signalling molecules, UV protectants or feeding deterrents, thus often form symbiotic associations with microorganisms that produce such metabolites. Technological advancements and the advent of new tools such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) have enhanced our understanding of the bioactivity of these natural products and aided the discovery of numerous biologically active lead structures, drug candidates, and drugs to treat various diseases. This chapter will thus overview the microbiological and chemical techniques currently used to maximize the discovery of new bioactive compounds in particular, the ones from marine actinomycetes that might be further exploited for their potential as novel and potent drug candidates.