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Random Shear Shuttle BAC Libraries for Antimicrobial Discovery from Soil…

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
2905 PARMENTER ST. Middleton, WI 53562-2547
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Random Shear Shuttle BAC Libraries for Antimicrobial Discovery from Soil Metageno
Agency: HHS
Contract: 1R43AI085840-01
Award Amount: $164,732.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): There is societal need for new antibiotic compounds in our arsenal of defenses against bacterial pathogens, many of which are increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics. The best possible source for new antibiotic s tructures with potentially novel mechanisms of action is within natural environments, particularly soils, which have the greatest diversity of microbial life. This research proposal advances the science of metagenomics, the cloning of DNA from entire micro bial communities, to discover novel antibiotics and identify the best lead candidates for clinical development. Scientists at the Lucigen Corporation and at Auburn University are uniting four key technological breakthroughs that together will result in the next generation of metagenomic libraries, a resource with greatly enhanced potential for antibiotic discovery. Specifically, the proposed research will identify antibiotic compounds using 1) an improved methodology for the isolation and purification of hi gh molecular weight genomic DNA from soil microorganisms; 2) a novel broad host range shuttle vector for enhanced expression of cloned DNAs; 3) a random shear cloning method to produce very large insert sizes (gt100 kb); and 4) a rapid and improved screeni ng method to identify antibiotic-producing clones within a metagenomic library. The primary Phase I objectives are to produce the proof-of-concept next generation metagenomic library using the above technologies and to screen this library against bacterial and yeast tester strains to generate a collection of antibiotic- producing clones. Phase II will build upon the success of Phase I by constructing additional metagenomic libraries from multiple environmental samples, screening these libraries for antimicr obial activity, and, most importantly, characterizing the antimicrobial agents identified in Phase I and Phase II to determine the best lead candidates for clinical development. Lead candidates will have novel chemical structures, have high potency against multiple bacterial pathogens (e.g., MRSA), and minimal toxicity for eukaryotic cells. Each of the different technologies necessary for the proposed research has been proven effective separately; therefore, the synthesis of these different methods has a hi gh probability of success and also represents a significant advancement for the science of antibiotic discovery. Furthermore, the libraries produced from this research are a valuable genomic resource that may be screened for other bioactive compounds (e.g. , with anticancer or antiviral activities) in subsequent research. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The use of antibiotics to treat bacterial disease has been a success story in the history of modern medicine, and yet there is still a need to identify new a ntibiotics that can treat bacterial infections, particularly ones caused by multi-drug resistant pathogens. This research will combine four different technological breakthroughs to enable antibiotic discovery from microorganisms in natural environments (e. g., soils) by harvesting and expressing their genetic pathways directly, without the need to cultivate the different microorganisms in a laboratory. In this way, this technology will access the antibiotics produced by a great diversity of microorganisms, m any of which are unknown to science, and will identify the best novel antibiotic compounds for use in treating bacterial disease.

Principal Investigator:

Chengcang C. Wu

Business Contact:

Chengcang Wu
Small Business Information at Submission:


EIN/Tax ID: 139192330
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No