Targeted Discovery of Cryptic Metabolites with Antiproliferative Activity

Esther J. Han, Seoung Rak Lee, Shotaro Hoshino, Mohammad R. Seyedsayamdost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Microorganisms have provided a rich source of therapeutically valuable natural products. Recent advances in whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics have revealed immense untapped potential for new natural products in the form of silent or "cryptic" biosynthetic genes. We herein conducted high-throughput elicitor screening (HiTES) in conjunction with cytotoxicity assays against selected cancer cell lines with the goal of uncovering otherwise undetectable cryptic metabolites with antiproliferative activity. Application to Streptomyces clavuligerus facilitated identification of clavamates A and B, two bioactive metabolites with unusual structural features, as well as facile activation of a gene cluster coding for tunicamycin, which exhibited strong growth-inhibitory activity. The elicitor we identified was pleiotropic, additionally leading to the discovery of a modified, bicyclic pentapeptide natural product. Our results highlight the utility of this approach in identifying new molecules with antiproliferative activity from even overexploited microbial strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3121-3130
Number of pages10
JournalACS chemical biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 18 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biochemistry


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