Skip to main content

Illinois IGB

Wilfred van der Donk

Biosynthetic pathway in bacteria a recipe for drug discovery and production

July 18, 2019

Microbes are master chefs of the biomolecular world; collectively, they harbor the ability to produce a vast array of unknown substances, some of which may have therapeutic or other useful properties. In searching for useful products, a team of chemists at Illinois have discovered a whole new class of microbial recipes.


July 18, 2019


Related Articles

Project aims to revive natural product discovery

April 24, 2019

The mid-20th century was the golden age of natural product discovery. Scientists discovered groundbreaking drugs, like penicillin and tetracycline, from sources in nature.

But as the search for natural products continued, pharmaceutical companies kept finding the same products over and over again. By the early 2000s, most of these companies shut down their natural product discovery programs.


April 24, 2019


Related Articles

Unusual biosynthetic pathway offers a key to future natural product discovery

September 10, 2018

Bacteria are master engineers of small, biologically useful molecules. A new study in Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06083-7) has revealed one of the tricks of this microbial trade: synthesizing and then later inserting a nitrogen-nitrogen bond, like a prefabricated part, into a larger molecule.


September 10, 2018


Related Articles

Study yields million-plus new compounds, pharmaceutical potential

March 12, 2018

Researchers say they can now produce a vast library of unique cyclic compounds, some with the capacity to interrupt specific protein-protein interactions that play a role in disease. The new compounds have cyclic structures that give them stability and enhance their ability to bind to their targets.  

The study, reported in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, also revealed that one of the newly generated compounds interferes with the binding of an HIV protein to a human protein, an interaction vital to the virus’s life cycle.


March 12, 2018


Related Articles

Subscribe to Wilfred van der Donk