Discovering and engineering new post-translationally modified antimicrobial peptides
Ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are a very attractive alternative to antibiotics for controlling bacterial pathogens as they display a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity and rarely develop bacterial resistance and/or cause toxicity in eukaryotic cells. The aim of this project is to exploit competitive microbial environments for the discovery of novel RiPPs with relevant antibacterial activity, and understand the mechanisms that regulate their antimicrobial production.
The use of these competitive environments is also crucial to elucidate the mechanisms that the pathogens use to become tolerant (resistant) to antimicrobials. The second aim of this project is to engineer RiPPs in food-grade bacteria as a platform for the production of novel antimicrobials of interest to the food and pharmacy industry.