NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Researchers at the University of California, San Diego’s Scripps Institute of Oceanography have sequenced the genome of a marine bacterium that could play a role in fighting cancer, Scripps said today.
In a collaboration between Scripps and the Joint Genome Institute, the scientists sequenced the genome of Salinispora tropica. The results were released this week in the early online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Scripps said this Salinispora makes compounds that may treat cancers, including the compound salinosporamide A, which is currently in human clinical trials as a potential therapy for bone marrow cancer conducted by Nereus Pharmaceuticals.
The sequence also showed that 10 percent of the genome is “dedicated to producing molecules” that may be used for antibiotics and anticancer agents, while similar bacteria have only around six to eight percent of their genomes offering such molecules, Scripps said.
The sequence may enable the researchers “to look in greater detail at this organism and potentially pull out some of the other compounds from the gene clusters that may make highly potent anticancer agents," Scripps Researcher Bradley Moore said in a statement.
Scripps said it found the bacterium in mud in the Bahamas in 1991.