Date of Award
Senior Honors Thesis
College or School
Molecular & Cellular Biology
Program or Major
Biomedical Sciences: Medical Microbiology
Bachelor of Science
Nearly one out of six deaths in 2020, around ten million people, were caused by cancer, making it a leading cause of death worldwide (WHO, 2022). This major public health issue, in addition to the rise of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens, provides a high demand for the discovery of new pharmaceutical drugs to be used clinically to treat these conditions. The Streptomyces genus accounts to produce 39% of all microbial metabolites currently approved for human health, indicating its potential as an important species to study for antimicrobial and anticancer agents. The long linear genome of Streptomyces contains specialized sequences known as biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) that facilitate the production and secretion of secondary metabolites with an immense range of functions. It has been confirmed that Streptomyces produce natural products categorized as several different metabolite classes, but their polyketide synthases (PKSs) and nonribsomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) BGCs are of increased interest for the discovery of chemotherapeutic drugs that exhibit cytotoxicity. In this study, marine sediment samples were collected from the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) where the presence of Streptomyces has been confirmed in order to search for BGCs of interest to assess for cytotoxicity. Streptomyces hygroscopicus has been studied previously for multiple research purposes. It contains polyketide, polyether, and NRPS BGCs within its genome, resides in terrestrial and marine�derived soils and is one of the most abundant species of Streptomyces in SBNMS samples from prior research. Marine ecosystems are home to a vast reservoir of undiscovered microbes harboring novel antimicrobial, antitumor, antiviral, and antiparasitic compounds waiting to be identified; preserving marine sanctuaries such as SBNMS allows for the organisms in these unique environments to thrive. This opens the opportunity for future biomedical and ecological research to be conducted for the wellbeing of public health and medicine.
Flaherty, Hannah Ruth, "Identification of Novel Biosynthetic Gene Clusters Encoding for Polyketide/NRPs-Producing Chemotherapeutic Compounds from Marine-Derived Streptomyces hygroscopicus from a Marine Sanctuary" (2023). Honors Theses and Capstones. 765.
Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins Commons, Bacteriology Commons, Bioinformatics Commons, Cancer Biology Commons, Cell Biology Commons, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Commons, Environmental Public Health Commons, Epidemiology Commons, Genomics Commons, Laboratory and Basic Science Research Commons, Marine Biology Commons, Medical Molecular Biology Commons, Molecular Biology Commons, Neoplasms Commons, Organic Chemicals Commons, Other Chemicals and Drugs Commons