Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2013 Jun;17(3):379-84. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2013.04.011. Epub 2013 May 13.

The human microbiome is a source of therapeutic drug targets.

Author information

Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.


It was appreciated early in drug discovery that the microbiota play an important role in the efficacy of therapeutic compounds. Indeed, the first antibiotic sulfa drugs were shown in the 1940s to be transformed by the bacteria that encode what we now call the intestinal microbiome. Here we briefly review the roles symbiotic bacteria play in the chemistry of human health, and we focus on the emerging appreciation that specific enzyme targets expressed by microbial symbiotes can be selectively disrupted to achieve clinical outcomes. We conclude that components of the microbiome should be considered 'druggable targets,' and we suggest that our rapidly evolving understanding of the chemical biology of mammalian-microbial symbiosis will translate into improved human health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center