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Curr Opin Drug Discov Devel. 2009 Mar;12(2):207-19.

Genomic mining--a concept for the discovery of new bioactive natural products.

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  • 1Institute for Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Bonn, Nussallee 6, 53115 Bonn, Germany.


Natural products continue to represent an excellent source for lead structures for drug discovery. However, new concepts are required to increase the probability of finding new bioactive structures. The post-genomic world has revealed that the traditional culture-based, bioassay-guided strategies used to discover natural products have only provided access to a small fraction of the biosynthetic capacity encoded in genomes. It has become apparent that the majority of biosynthetic pathways are expressed not at all, or scarcely, under laboratory conditions, or the products of these pathways have been overlooked. Genomic mining seeks to address both of these issues and thus to exploit the hidden potential of biosynthetic pathways. This fascinating, interdisciplinary research field began to form with the turn of the millennium, and, in establishing itself, has opened the door to a new era in natural products drug discovery.

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