Research on didemnin anticancer agents highlighted

Research highlight in Nature Middle East: “An international team involving scientists from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, now reports in the Journal of the American Chemical Society that didemnim B and its related precursors are synthesized by two bacterial species via an unusual mechanism.”

JACS spotlight article: “Marine invertebrates play host to a library of structurally diverse molecules with potent pharmaceutical properties—for example, some didemnin natural products have been in clinical trials for various cancers—but these organisms’ unique chemistry and limited natural supply make it difficult to fully explore the compounds’ potential. Bradley Moore, Pei-Yuan Qian, and colleagues discover that a strain of the marine bacterium Tistrella mobilis from the Red Sea makes didemnin compounds, which were first isolated some 30 years ago from filter-feeding tunicates (DOI: 10.1021/ja301735a).”