COMPARATIVE AND FUNCTIONAL GENOMICS OF F.nucleatum

Period of Performance: 06/01/2002 - 05/31/2003

$184K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Integrated Genomics, Inc.
2201 West Campbell Drive,
Chicago, IL 60612
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In completing Phase I of this grant, Integrated Genomics has produced an almost complete genomic sequence of Fusobacterium nucleatum (ATCC25586), leaving only 15 gaps. We have also assigned functions to ORFs using our propriety ERGO IM genomic analysis software suite. In Phase II, we will use our proprietary algorithms to correlate hypothetical ORFs with "orphan functions" missing from reconstructed metabolic pathways. Since F. nucleatum is known to be highly variable, we will completely sequence an additional hospital-isolated strain. We will choose this isolate based on its genetic distance from our sequenced strain. Further characterization of strain variability will be accomplished by SSH (suppressive subtractive hybridization), which will allow us to rapidly compare many other strains to our completely characterized isolates. We will sequence the resulting differences. We will design and manufacture F. nucleatum whole-genome microarrays and use them to probe the microbe's physiological states, some of which will mimic the stresses experienced during human infection. This will potentially reveal protective mechanisms and sensitive protein targets. Based on the results of strain-to-strain differences, we will develop a diagnostic chip to detect and rapidly characterize pathogenic states of F. nucleatum. Finally, we will over-express and enzymologically characterize selected protein targets found by the proposed combination of computational biology and whole-genome expression studies. Phase III will involve the verification of potential drug targets revealed in this study and commercialization of the proprietary DNA arrays. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Commercialization of this work include potential vaccines against certain novel Fusobacterium nucleatum proteins, and an antibiotic targeted against a unique Fusobacterium nucleatum biosynthetic pathway.