Natural products are still the majority of therapeutic agents. However, they suffer from a difficulty in the creation of derivatives, and they can also be hard to supply. Derivatives are extremely important in the optimization of properties, such as toxicity or solubility, that are critical to development of therapeutics. Recently, it has become increasingly popular to create libraries of derivatives using genetic engineering of natural product biosynthetic genes. Even in the best libraries, the numbers of derivatives are in the hundreds or low thousands. Recently, we discovered an evolutionary pathway that could potentially be harvested to generate up to billions of derivatives. The compounds can be rapidly """"""""evolved"""""""" to improve desired properties while minimizing unwanted effects. We have developed a system in which new activities can be pharmacologically optimized in a matter of days to weeks, exploring a huge diversity of unnatural natural products. In this project, we will develop this system to produce anti-HIV compounds for rapid development. The evolutionary feature of this proposal will allow leads to be rapidly optimized to overcome common problems in drug development. Our goal is to discover and develop anti-HIV candidate pharmaceuticals using cyanobactin technology. In pursuit of this goal, the project aims are to: 1: Construct and characterize a cyanobactin library. 2: Prepare and purify 15,000 to 20,000 cyanobactins from the library for use in high throughput screening. 3: Screen 15,000 to 20,000 cyanobactins from the library for anti-HIV leads using cell-based assays and identify the ten """"""""most fit"""""""" leads suitable for further development in Phase II.
We will use innovative new technology to develop optimized anti-HIV agents with a variety of mechanisms. These agents will be leads for clinical development.
|Ruffner, Duane E; Schmidt, Eric W; Heemstra, John R (2015) Assessing the combinatorial potential of the RiPP cyanobactin tru pathway. ACS Synth Biol 4:482-92|