New compounds

Among the incredible variety of natural compounds produced by actinomycetes, antibiotics are of greatest interest to mankind. Actinomycetes are the producers of more than half of the antibiotics known today that are used in the clinic. The “golden era” of antibiotics in the period between 1940-1962 opened a large number of classes of these compounds. However, their use contributed to the development of resistance in both pathogenic microorganisms and tumor cells. Therefore, the search for new antibiotic compounds will be relevant for a long time.

With the help of a wide range of test cultures and a number of biotests, we evaluate the biological properties of actinomycetes: antagonistic, enzymatic, phytostimulating, etc. To study the biosynthetic potential of natural isolates, we sequence and analyze their genomes. This makes it possible to estimate the number and diversity of gene clusters for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and to reveal the potential for the production of new compounds. We carry out chemical analysis of secondary metabolites in cooperation with the group of Prof. Andrii Luzhetskyi (University of Saarland, Germany), which involves the use of the LC-MC method, dereplication of secondary metabolites and their comparative characterization with known compounds (DNP, Chapman & Hall/CRC). In this way, we determine the spectrum of possible compounds produced by one or another strain of microorganism and identify potentially new substances. Further, on the basis of our laboratory, we accumulate a sufficient amount of biomass, extract, concentrate and chromatographically purify the necessary fraction to clarify the chemical structure of a potentially new compound using NMR spectroscopy.

In this way, we have already discovered about 20 new natural compounds of actinomycete origin.