Actinobacteria Metabolic Engineering

This group is located at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)


The growing resistance towards established antibiotics presents a serious problem especially with infectious diseases. The development of new drugs is mainly based on known molecules and mechanisms, which allows bacteria to assimilate rapidly. Hence, scientists are looking for novel drugs. At the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), a branch of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) at Braunschweig, the researchers develop new pathways, by which they force actinomycetes to produce hitherto unknown compounds.

Current Projects

Regulatory gene networks responsible for the heterologous expression in S. albus and S. lividans

The expression of secondary metabolic gene clusters is controlled by many different families of regulatory proteins, some of which are found only in actinomycetes, and is elicited by both extracellular and intracellular signalling molecules. Using systematic in vivo transposon mutagenesis combined with gusA based screening, we identify gene networks responsible for the up and down regulation of natural product biosynthesis in streptomycetes.