Amongst the well-established bacterial producers myxobacteria have a great track record for the discovery of entirely new natural product scaffolds exhibiting promsing bioactivities. This is at least in part due to the fact that they have been much less studied in the past in comparison to other traditional sources such as actinomycetes and bacilli. Nevertheless, the issue of rediscovery is a major hurdle for myxobacterial extracts as well. I will disucss recent results from our efforts to culture previously uncultured myxobacteria and to connect phylogentically distant clades to novel metabolites by metabolome and genome mining. Examples of novel and genetically engineered natural products in preclinical development as broad spectrum antibiotics exhibiting novel mode of action(s) will be shown. In addition, I will show examples of heterologous expression of myxobacterial compounds yielding producer strains making production of lead compounds for pharmaceutical development feasible.
Rolf Müller studied Pharmacy at the University of Bonn from 1986-1990, received his approbation as a pharmacist in 1991 and finished his PhD on a pharmaceutical-microbiological topic in 1994. In 2000, he completed his habilitation thesis at the Technical University Braunschweig about the biosynthesis of antibiotics in actinomycetes and myxobacteria. Since October 2003, Rolf Müller holds a chair as professor of pharmaceutical biotechnology at Saarland University and in 2009 he became managing director of the newly founded Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS). Rolf Müller’s research is dedicated to the chemistry and biology of microbial natural products with an emphasis on myxobacteria. Using an interdisciplinary research setting his group focusses on the identification, modification and pharmaceutical development of new anti-infectives exhibiting innovative mode of action. In 2001, 2007 and 2016 Rolf Müller received the Phoenix-Pharmacy Research Award.
Moderation: Professor Dr. Uwe Bornscheuer