Many important natural products such as antibiotics, immunosuppressants, or anti-cancer drugs are produced by microorganisms.
In the microbial producers of these drugs, the drugs are generated with the help of the NRPS enzymes in a manner similar to a modern automobile factory: at each station, additional parts are added to the basic structure until finally a complete automobile leaves the factory.
"We use fragments of natural NRPS systems from different bacteria as building blocks that we connect to each other using specific assembly points we have identified," Andreas Tietze and Janik Kranz explain the research approach they developed as part of a larger team in the Bode group.
"Following the first promising experiments by Kenan, my PhD student at the time, we worked for a long time on the project with a major part of my group until we were certain that our method fulfilled the requirements of a robust and easily reproducible engineering method," Bode states.
"Thanks to the LOEWE priority programmes MegaSyn and Translational Biodiversity Genomics, we had the necessary personnel and financial support, and could concentrate completely on the project."
The conditions for this are good - Bode was only recently awarded one of the renowned ERC Advanced Grants from the European Research Council in order to further optimize the methods over the next five years.