We have in recent years gained many important insights into the biosynthesis of non-ribosomally synthesized biologically active secondary metabolites and, more recently, insights into the biosynthesis of ribosomal synthesized lassopeptides. In recent years, the metal homeostasis in the gram-positive model organism Bacillus subtilis was investigated.
Within the scope of SYNMIKRO our group is working on expanding the biosynthetic potential of secondary metabolites and ribosomally synthesized peptides. Many peptidic secondary metabolites have relevant pharmacological properties, ranging from antibiotic to antitumor activities. Through the manipulation of secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways we want to increase the structural diversity and thereby the spectrum of potential applications and properties of peptidic secondary metabolites. A recent example of successful manipulation is the integration of the RGD epitope into the lasso peptide microcin J25, transforming it into a potent integrin inhibitor.
In addition we are working on the analysis of Bacillus subtilis iron homeostasis, to deepen the fundamental understanding of this process as well as to identify and characterize potential antibiotic targets. A recent successful example was the characterization of the iron-sulfur-cluster biosynthesis in cooperation with the Lill group.