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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2008 Oct;8(5):557-63. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2008.04.008. Epub 2008 Jun 3.

Renaissance in antibacterial discovery from actinomycetes.

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Drug Discovery and Evaluation, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 65 Hayden Avenue, Lexington, MA 02421, USA.


The soil actinomycetes have been important sources of antibiotics, but were nearly abandoned in recent years in favor of high-throughput target-based screening of chemical libraries. The latter approach has not been productive, so it is time to reinvigorate the discovery of new antibiotics from a proven source. Recent progress has been made on antibiotic discovery from actinomycetes by using high-throughput fermentation, isolation of marine actinomycetes, mining genomes for cryptic pathways, and combinatorial biosynthesis to generate new secondary metabolites related to existing pharmacophores.

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