New antibacterial agents targeting secretion systems
Project Leader (s):
Jeanette Bröms and Anders Sjöstedt
Dept. of Clinical Microbiology, Umeå University
Active Incubator Project
The importance of pathogenic secretion
system was recently identified in a number of gram-negative
pathogens, e.g., Vibrio cholerae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Yersinia
pseudotuberculosis, enteroaggregative Escherichia coli and
Burkholderia mallei. Many of these are important human pathogens
that together cause very extensive morbidity globally. There is a
direct link between protein secretion and virulence has been
established in literature.
The project owners study the intracellular pathogen
Francisella tularensis, which causes the disease tularaemia and a
recognized potential biodefense threat. The project researchers
have discovered a highly conserved secretion system among numerous
pathogens. These homologue conservations have been found in silico.
The researchers showed conservation of several homologues where
point mutations in the target candidate resulted in loss of
pathogenicity. In addition, they found homologues from other
species can interact with the candidate using yeast two hybrid
assays; thus suggestive of potential drug targets.
This proof-of-concept stage project could potentially
produce a novel class of drug target with broader antimicrobial
Intellectual Property Status:
Patent applications are being drafted and
other potentials are being evaluated.
Possible Commercial Potential:
This could provide a new drug target and thus a new
class of broad spectrum therapeutic agents targeting pathogens
other than Francisella sp. Potential market niche include areas of
biodefense, and clinical settings against drug resistant strains.
Other areas of applications are in manufacturing and process
Prof. Anders Sjöstedt