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Natural products are small chemical compounds produced by living organisms that can have diverse biological activities. Streptomyces, a filamentous soil-dwelling bacteria, is well known for its ability to produce a large variety of secondary metabolites, and genome sequences have shown that a single Streptomyces strain is able to synthesize 20-30 different molecules. This means a lot more natural products wait to be discovered and yet, estimates show that approximately 90 % of these are “cryptic”, i.e. not produced under standard laboratory conditions. Different approaches have been developed to identify these silent biosynthetic gene clusters, most of which are similarity-based. This mobility project aims at developing a novel secondary metabolite discovery method based on comparative genomics, an approach that does not require any previous knowledge of the nature of the secondary metabolite gene cluster.
I received my Ph.D. from the University of León (Spain) for my work on the regulatory networks that govern specialized metabolism in Streptomyces. As a postdoctoral AgreenSkills Plus fellow at the DynAMic research unit in Nancy (France), I developed a project aimed at discovering new bioactive compounds through a novel approach based on comparative genomics. This new method constitutes an alternative to traditional genome mining, and hopefully it will allow the identification of new enzyme families and possibly new antibiotics. The project was co-funded by the ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) and was supervised by Prof. Bertrand Aigle and Prof. Pierre Leblond. My research interests focus on the production of specialized metabolites in Streptomyces. The increase of antibiotic resistant infections, as well as the increasing incidence of antifungal infections that were rarely seen previously, is a serious health issue and the need for new and different antimicrobials is urgent. These microorganisms, along with other actinomycetes, are a rich source of natural products with numerous applications like antibiotics and antitumorals, and their full potential still waits to be discovered.
Payero TD, Vicente CM, Rumbero Á, Barreales EG, Santos-Aberturas J, de Pedro A, Aparicio JF., 2015. Functional analysis of filipin tailoring genes from Streptomyces filipinensis reveals alternative routes in filipin III biosynthesis and yields bioactive derivatives. Microb Cell Fact. Doi: 10.1186/s12934-015-0307-4.
Vicente CM, Payero TD, Santos-Aberturas J, Barreales EG, de Pedro A, Aparicio JF., 2015. Pathway-specific regulation revisited: cross-regulation of multiple disparate gene clusters by PAS-LuxR transcriptional regulators. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 99(12):5123-35. Doi: 10.1007/s00253-015-6472-x.
Vicente CM, Santos-Aberturas J, Payero TD, Barreales EG, de Pedro A, Aparicio JF., 2014. PAS-LuxR transcriptional control of filipin biosynthesis in S. avermitilis. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 98(22):9311-24. Doi: 10.1007/s00253-014-5998-7.
Santos-Aberturas J, Vicente CM, Payero TD, MartínSánchez L, Cañibano C, Martín JF, Aparicio JF., 2012. Hierarchical control on polyene macrolide biosynthesis: PimR modulates pimaricin production via the PAS-LuxR transcriptional activator PimM. PLoS One. 7(6):e38536. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038536.