learn about THE research WE DO
We investigate the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria control the biosynthesis of natural products. Different families of transcription factors regulate the expression of gene clusters that direct the assembly of these natural products.
Our detailed understanding of such regulatory systems opens the way to the discovery of new molecules from metabolic pathways which are typically silent in the laboratory environment. Indeed, we have been able to rationally inactivate specific transcriptional repressor genes and/or overexpress transcriptional activators to discover novel bioactive metabolites (i.e. antibiotics, anticancer).
The structural diversity of microbial natural products also relies on the activity of specialized/unique sets of enzymes able to assemble these complex structures. These proteins can be developed and exploited as biocatalysts for the manufacture of high value chemicals.