chapter  14
16 Pages

Isolation of Bioactive Natural Products from Myxobacteria

WithMakoto Ojika

Myxobacteria are gram-negative unicellular bacteria that inhabit soil and aquatic environments globally.1 They are characterized by their life cycle in which, upon starvation, they gather by gliding to form the structurally diverse and colorful multicellular fruiting bodies. During the last few decades, the myxobacteria have become established as proficient producers of novel secondary metabolites.2-4 The most significant secondary metabolites are epothilones, which are promising candidates for anticancer drugs with a paclitaxel-like action mechanism.5 However, one of the critical disadvantages is that they are hard-to-culture microorganisms since they are difficult to isolate from nature and are slow growing. Recently, researchers have tried to clone and heterologously express the biosynthetic genes of myxobacterial secondary metabolites to produce them more effectively.6