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Marine myxobacteria from the state of São Paulo as a source of protease inhibitors


Myxobacteria are deltaproteobacteria occurring in terrestrial soil or marine sediment. As a group, these microorganisms are known to produce structurally unique natural substances with biotechnological and biomedical applications. In relation to other groups of microorganisms with such potential, myxobacteria have only been barely explored in this respect. Furthermore, in Brazil, there is little to no information on occurrence of myxobacteria, much less considering the pharmacological potential of molecules thereof. In light of this, and engaged with the interest and experience of our research group in bioprospecting marine bacteria for anticancer compounds, this proposal aims at uncovering anticancer natural molecules from marine myxobacteria from the coast of São Paulo through a target-oriented approach and further informing on the ecological roles of such compounds. Here, this proposal wishes to achieve the following goals: 1) recover myxobacteria from marine sediments from São Paulo; 2) access the anticancer potential of myxobacteria through screening for chymotrypsin inhibitors; 3) elucidate the bioactive molecules produced by selected myxobacteria and validate proteasome as their targets; and 4) assess the activity the molecules on proteolytic enzymes produced by myxobacteria. If successful, this project will afford an unprecedent register on occurrence of marine myxobacteria in Brazil, generate and characterize both a strain and a natural extract collection from Brazilian myxobacteria, identify protease inhibitors among compounds produced by myxobacteria that may also modulate the human proteasome (important anticancer drug target) and inform on the natural roles held by these molecules. (AU)

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