Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Solve Genome Of Promising Marine Organism

Date:
June 15, 2007
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Scientists have solved the genomic puzzle of an organism discovered in the oceans with potential for producing compounds showing promise in treating diseases such as cancer.

Salinispora Tropica. Bacteria discovered in Bahamian mud has potential as producer of natural antibiotics and anticancer products.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of California - San Diego

Scientists at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have solved the genomic puzzle of an organism discovered in the oceans with potential for producing compounds showing promise in treating diseases such as cancer.

Daniel Udwary and Bradley Moore joined colleagues at Scripps and the Department of Energy's (DOE) Joint Genome Institute in successfully sequencing the genome of Salinispora tropica. The decoding opens the door to a range of possibilities for isolating and adapting potent molecules the marine organism naturally employs in the ocean environment for chemical defense, scavenging for nutrients and communication.

Salinispora was discovered in 1991 by Scripps Oceanography's Paul Jensen and William Fenical in shallow ocean sediment off the Bahamas. The bacterium produces compounds that have shown promising signs for treating cancers. Its product, "salinosporamide A," is currently in human clinical trials (Nereus Pharmaceuticals of San Diego) for treating multiple myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells in bone marrow, as well as for treating solid tumors.

"By sequencing Salinispora tropica we are now able to look in greater detail at this organism and potentially pull out some of the other compounds from the gene clusters that may make highly potent anticancer agents," said Moore, a professor with Scripps' Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine and the UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. "It's exciting to be able to use this genomic information to maximize the discoveries from this prolific organism."

Much of the anticipation of producing new medicines from Salinispora comes from its potential to augment the current arsenal of antibiotics, many of which are ineffective against increasingly drug-resistant bacteria. More than half of the natural antibiotics now used clinically are derived from the Streptomyces genus, the land-based relatives of Salinispora that are considered the kings of antibiotic-producing organisms.

Having achieved genome sequencing success, Moore and his colleagues can now move into genetic engineering research, such as manipulating the machinery inside the bacterium to potentially yield new derivatives of compounds such as salinosporamide A. Other possibilities include using the information to increase compound manufacturing capabilities and generating new structures based on genomic designs.

"With the genome information in hand, we now understand the molecular basis for how nature synthesizes (salinosporamide A), which is allowing us to re-engineer its biosynthetic pathway," said Moore.

Sequencing the genome revealed several previously unknown aspects of Salinispora tropica.

For example, while observations in similar bacteria revealed that typically 6- to 8-percent of the organism's genome is dedicated to producing molecules for antibiotics and anticancer agents, Salinispora tropica's genome showed an impressive 10 percent, "to our delight," said Moore.

The scientists pinpointed 17 gene clusters scattered throughout the organism's genome as responsible for producing the 10 percent.

"If we know the genetic roadmap of their potential, we can read the sequence and the DNA to predict what chemicals are being made," said Moore. "This is a way to mine the genomes for new chemical structures and new biology, with potential in a human health context."

Advances by Fenical's laboratory in deciphering the chemical structures of natural Salinispora products were key for Moore and the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in solving the genome structure of Salinispora tropica. Indeed, the traditional "shotgun" approach, in which pieces of the genome are scrambled into small sections and rebuilt, failed to solve the genome puzzle. Instead, information about the natural chemistry of the organism helped close the sequencing gap, believed to be a first.

Current studies are concentrating on solving the genome of Salinispora arenicola, a related species also found in tropical sea sediment.

In addition to Udwary, Moore, Fenical and Jensen, coauthors of the research paper include Lisa Zeigler and Ratnakar Asolkar of Scripps Oceanography and Vasanth Singan and Alla Lapidus of JGI.

The results were recently released in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institutes of Health and JGI.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Scientists Solve Genome Of Promising Marine Organism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070613174715.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2007, June 15). Scientists Solve Genome Of Promising Marine Organism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070613174715.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Scientists Solve Genome Of Promising Marine Organism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070613174715.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins