Heterologous Expression of Marine Natural Products

Period of Performance: 02/10/2003 - 01/31/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Acera Biosciences, Inc.
Hastings, MN 55033
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Marine natural products are diverse in chemical structure and have great biological activities, especially anticancer activities. However, developing these compounds into clinical drugs has been hindered by their limited supply. Acera Biosciences, Inc. has developed a strategy to produce these compounds in fermentation. The proposed research project focuses on developing heterologous expression systems for the production of these compounds. Using the newly cloned barbamide biosynthetic pathway as a test pathway, a group of four vector-host systems will be developed. Foreign pathway expression in these systems will be evaluated at the transcription, translation, and functional levels to provide guidance for improvement. The resulting satisfactory system(s) will be extended and applied to produce valuable marine natural products in the next phase of experiments. The proposed method will alleviate the supply shortage of some potent marine natural products in drug development. Moreover, it will help to expand the current anticancer drug tests to more marine natural product that are otherwise unavailable because of limited supply.