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Researchers from the Blue Biotechnology & Biomedicine Lab, led by Susana Gaudêncio, in collaboration with researchers from University of São Paulo, studied the metabolomic fingerprinting of Salinispora from Atlantic Oceanic Islands. The results, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, demonstrate that the majority of Salinispora strains recovered from sediments from the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago belongs to the species S. arenicola and that the preponderance of strains recovered from the Madeira Archipelago belongs to S. pacifica.


Salinispora is a genus of actinobacteria, also named actinomycetes, which are Gram positive bacteria recognized as the major source of bioactive compounds having a wide range of bioactivities, such as antibacterial, anticancer, antibiofilme, antifouling, and many others. In fact, they account for over 75% of the current marketed antibiotics.


Marine-derived actinobacteria are underexplored and they are capable of producing compounds with distinct chemical scaffolds from the terrestrial counterparts. Salinosporamide A (Marizomib), isolated from the marine obligate actinomycete Salinispora tropica, is a potent proteasome inhibitor being studied as a potential anticancer agent, currently in phase I/II of human clinical trials for the treatment of multiple myeloma.


Our work revealed the occurrence of species-specific chemical markers among the studied strains and that environmental factors strongly affect the secondary metabolism of Salinispora species. It showed that geography plays a stronger role than taxonomy in actinobacteria. The secondary metabolites produced by these strains were dereplicated, confirming that they produce novel secondary metabolites and enabled their prioritization for structure elucidation of bioactive compounds, which will lead to the discovery of new anti-proteasome agents.