Horn corals of the species Antillogorgia elisabethae produce antibiotic natural substances. A research team at TUM has successfully produced one of these substances in the laboratory.
Image: Thomas Brück / TUM
Sustainable biotechnological production of a natural substance against tuberculosis
Natural antibiotic from the biotechnological laboratory
Together with his team at the Werner Siemens Chair of Synthetic Biotechnology, he has now managed for the first time to produce one of the sea whip’s active agents in the laboratory – without the need for a single reef inhabitant. The molecule “erogorgiaene” is an antibiotic. Initial bioactivity tests show, that it is suitable for fighting multi-resistant tuberculosis pathogens.
Previously, a use of the active agent was almost unthinkable: The sea whip contains only extremely small quantities of erogorgiaene and is additionally protected – using it as a raw material source would be neither financially feasible nor ecologically responsible. Although production via conventional chemical synthesis is possible, it is complex and associated with toxic waste. A kilo of the active agent would cost around EUR 21,000.
Sustainable biotechnology reduces the production costs
“However, with biotechnological methods, a consolidated erogorgiaene production is feasible, in a more environmentally friendly manner and much cheaper. With this method, the production costs per kilo would only be around EUR 9,000,” emphasizes Brück.
The new method, which he has developed together with colleagues from Berlin, Canada, and Australia, consists of only two steps: The main work is done by genetically optimized bacteria that feed on glycerin – a residual substance from biodiesel production.
The bacteria generate a molecule, that can then be converted into the desired active agent using a highly selective enzymatic step. No waste is produced in the process, as all ancillary products can be reused in a circular manner. A patent has been filed for the innovative production method.
Bioactive product development along the lines of nature
“The new technology platform for the production of bioactive natural products via biotechnological methodologies complies with all 12 criteria of Green Chemistry,” says Thomas Brück. “In addition, it fulfills four of the UN Sustainability Goals: a healthy life for all, combating climate change and its effects, preservation and sustainable use of the oceans and maritime resources, and preservation of life on land.”
The research team is now working on the biotechnological production of another coral active agent: Using nature as a model, the molecule erogorgiaene is to be converted into the active agent pseudopteropsin in the laboratory.
Medical professionals are placing great hope on the latter: Clinical studies have shown that pseudopteropsin inhibits inflammations thanks to a new mechanism of action. Thus, it is a potential therapeutic candidate to control excessive inflammatory reactions, for example in the case of viral infections, such as Covid-19, or during age-related chronic inflammations.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Feed has no items.
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Torres Strait: Tuberculosis fears trigger call for greater Cairns disease efforton March 2, 2021 at 7:40 pm
REPORTS of three Border Force officers contracting a devastating infectious disease have triggered calls to ramp up treatment and vaccine research in the Torres Strait.
- Development of a population pharmacokinetic model and Bayesian estimators for isoniazid in Tunisian tuberculosis patientson March 1, 2021 at 8:38 am
This study aimed to develop a population pharmacokinetic model using full pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles of isoniazid (INH) taking into account demographic and genetic covariates and to develop ...
- Tuberculosis Testing Market : Industry Outlook By Drivers, Restraintson March 1, 2021 at 12:47 am
"The report on Tuberculosis Testing Market was recently published by SDKI, which includes the latest market trends, current and future opportunities along with the factors that are driving the growth ...
- A mission to conquer tuberculosis and sleeping sickness in developing nationson February 25, 2021 at 4:45 am
That enables the bacteria to develop drug resistance." There is no gene exchange between bacterial cells in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB), so MTB obtains drug resistance when a point mutation ...
- Investigation Finds Tuberculosis May Be Risk Factor for Behçet Diseaseon February 23, 2021 at 8:15 am
An analysis of human genetic and biomarker data found that tuberculosis was a risk factor for Behçet disease, a noninfectious uveitis condition.