Discovery and development of lantibiotics; Antimicrobial agents that have significant potential for medical application

Mohammed M. Al-Mahrous, Mathew Upton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Introduction: Antimicrobial drug resistance is driving the need for novel therapeutics. Amongst the most promising antibacterial agents that are being investigated as replacements for current therapeutic antibiotics are antibacterial peptides, such as the lanthionine-containing peptide antibiotics (lantibiotics). Areas covered: This review focuses on the current methods used for discovery of potentially exploitable lantibiotics for medical applications and discusses relevant recent innovations that will have a positive impact on the discovery of useful lantibiotics. Expert opinion: Recent technological advances in a number of fields mean that increased research into the identification and characterisation of new lantibiotics is feasible. We need to increase our understanding of the various mechanisms of antibacterial action exhibited by lantibiotics and apply this knowledge to peptide engineering or novel practical applications. The advent of next-generation sequencing approaches now negate the need for extensive reverse genetics and employment of bioinformatics approaches is greatly assisting the identification of potentially useful inhibitors in the genomes of a range of clinically significant bacteria. These advances in genetic analysis and engineering will facilitate increased exploitation of lantibiotics in medical therapy. © 2011 Informa UK, Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)155-170
    Number of pages15
    JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Discovery
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • bioengineering
    • bioinformatics
    • biosynthetic pathways
    • genetic engineering
    • genome sequence
    • lantibiotics
    • mechanism of action


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