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Brazilian protease-rich edible fruits and their microbial explorations for the identification of novel bioactive constituents

Grant number: 22/10835-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2023
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Paulo Cézar Vieira
Grantee:Mustapha Ngaski Abubakar
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto (FCFRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07600-3 - CIBFar - Center for Innovation in Biodiversity and Drug Discovery, AP.CEPID


Research into debilitating human health conditions caused by resistant pathogens and the employment of advanced technologies over the past decade have not yielded as many positive results as anticipated. Thus, Science observes the return of discoveries in the area of Natural Products (NP). Brazil is endowed with enormous biodiversity of flora and fauna, which makes it possible to explore this potential in the study of new substances of interest. This work investigates microorganisms that infect edible fruits rich in proteases (papaya, pineapple and persimmon) found in Brazil. Fractionation and isolation guided by bioactivity and followed by advanced spectroscopy are mechanisms capable of quickly distinguishing between active and inactive compounds, as well as known or unknown (de-replication), respectively. The microorganisms in axenic culture and co-culture will be submitted to different conditions (biotic and abiotic) to challenge microbial survival aiming the development of a method that is efficient in influencing the chemo-bio-diversity. Activation of silent biosynthetic pathways (and other means) by these species involved in microbial interactions can provide new NPs and this approach will be prioritized in the present proposal. Extracts with promising bioactivities in selected bacteria, fungal and parasitic strains, as well as their inhibitory effects on cathepsins B, V, K & L will be investigated. Using this approach, we intend to reach new substances of interest for the possible development of new products. The results obtained in the most relevant stages of the project should be published in peer-reviewed journals and the most selective editorial line possible. Periodic reports will be provided so that both the supervisor and FAPESP can track the progress of the fellowship. Postdoctoral work as a path to academic development (in all branches - analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving, policy/decision making) is believed to enable and properly align professional career trajectory/advancement. Thus, the use of different substrates - microbial, marine and terrestrial flora and fauna diversity for the exploration of NPs, will be important in the formation and performance of the post-doc when returning to the country of origin, Nigeria. (AU)

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