Mining bacterial genomes to reveal secret synergy

Alanjary, Mohammad; Medema, Marnix H.


The medical treatment of infectious diseases often requires combination therapies that blend two molecules to enhance drug efficacy. Nature does the same. In a new article, Mrak et al. identify and functionally characterize natural products from Streptomyces rapamycinicus that show synergistic antifungal activity with the well-known immunosuppressant metabolite rapamycin, produced by the same strain. The genomic co-association of the two biosynthetic gene clusters paves the way toward new strategies to discover synergistic pairs of antibiotics through large-scale genome mining.