A metagenomic strategy for harnessing the chemical repertoire of the human microbiome

Yuki Sugimoto, Francine R. Camacho, Shuo Wang, Pranatchareeya Chankhamjon, Arman Odabas, Abhishek Biswas, Philip D. Jeffrey, Mohamed S. Donia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Extensive progress has been made in determining the effects of the microbiome on human physiology and disease, but the underlying molecules and mechanisms governing these effects remain largely unexplored. Here, we combine a new computational algorithm with synthetic biology to access biologically active small molecules encoded directly in human microbiome–derived metagenomic sequencing data. We discover that members of a clinically used class of molecules are widely encoded in the human microbiome and that they exert potent antibacterial activities against neighboring microbes, implying a possible role in niche competition and host defense. Our approach paves the way toward a systematic unveiling of the chemical repertoire encoded by the human microbiome and provides a generalizable platform for discovering molecular mediators of microbiome-host and microbiome-microbiome interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1332
Issue number6471
StatePublished - Dec 13 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'A metagenomic strategy for harnessing the chemical repertoire of the human microbiome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this