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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 1999 Dec;10(6):571-8.

Searching for drug targets in microbial genomes.

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National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA.


Comparative analysis of the complete genome sequences of 10 bacterial pathogens available in the public databases offers the first insights into the drug discovery approaches of the near future. Genes that are conserved in different genomes often turn out to be essential, which makes them attractive targets for new broad-spectrum antibiotics. Subtractive genome analysis reveals the genes that are conserved in all or most of the pathogenic bacteria but not in eukaryotes; these are the most obvious candidates for drug targets. Species-specific genes, on the other hand, may offer the possibility to design drugs against a particular, narrow group of pathogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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