Dr Andrew Truman
Andy works on natural product biosynthesis in bacteria with a particular interest in ribosomally-synthesised peptides.
Bacteria are capable of converting simple linear peptide chains into complex chemicals in relatively few biosynthetic steps.
Andy’s research involves the use of techniques such as mass spectral networking to discover related groups of molecules and to understand how these are made.
This research explores the biochemical pathways involved and the potential role of these compounds in biology and for exploitation in medicine and agriculture.
- Peptide modification in bacteria to make novel compounds
- Mass spectral networking to identify new compounds
- The role of new compounds for exploitation, e.g. in disease suppression in plants and for the treatment of human disease
Andy's group research focus is on understanding how structurally complex natural products are constructed by soil-dwelling bacteria.
Genetic, biochemical and chemical techniques are used to determine how molecules with unusual structures are biosynthesised, and we are developing methods to reprogram pathways to produce novel natural product-like molecules. A vast array of medicines are produced by soil-dwelling bacteria, and the discovery of new pathways will support the development of future drugs.
They are examining a variety of natural products, including non-ribosomal peptides like vancomycin, which is a drug of last resort to treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, and ribosomally synthesised and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs), such as bottromycin. This is a clinically promising and structurally unique RiPP that is active towards multi-drug resistant bacteria, such as MRSA.
In addition, the analysis of genomic data has revealed that bacteria have an untapped potential to produce secondary metabolites, and key pathways are being investigated.
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 55 p96399643
Publisher’s version: 10.1002/anie.201604304
Cyclisation mechanisms in the biosynthesis of ribosomally synthesised and post-translationally modified peptides
Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry 12 p1250
Publisher’s version: 10.3762/bjoc.12.120
ACS Chemical Biology 11(8) p2254-2264
Publisher’s version: 10.1021/acschembio.6b00018
The frontline antibiotic vancomycin induces a zinc starvation response in bacteria by binding to Zn(II).
Scientific Reports 6 p19602
Publisher’s version: 10.1038/srep19602
Nature Chemical Biology 11 p625-31
Publisher’s version: 10.1038/nchembio.1890
- Dr Natalia Miguel-Vior Postdoctoral Scientist
- Tom Eyles Postgraduate Student
- Dr Javier Santos Aberturas Postdoctoral Scientist
- Luca Frattaruolo Postgraduate Student
- Dr David Widdick Postdoctoral Scientist
- Alaster Moffat Postgraduate Student
- Alicia Russell Postgraduate Student
- Dr Rodney Lacret-Pimienta Postdoctoral Scientist
For media enquiries, contact the John Innes Centre communications team; 01603 450962, email@example.com