Actinobacteria: A Renewable Source of Bioactive Molecules with Medical, Industrial and Pharmacological Importance
The Actinobacteria receive much attention, since they produce a wide variety of metabolites, including antibiotics, antitumor agents, antioxidant molecules and enzyme inhibitors. These bacteria can be found in various habitats, including soil, ocean, extreme environments, mangrove, lichen, plants, and animals. The classification of Actinobacteria based upon the morphological observation, physiological and biochemical characteristics is not enough to differentiate the genera of this phylum. Following, a complementary identification is performed based on the distribution of specific constituents of the cellular wall, such as diaminopimelic acid and carbohydrates. With the advent of molecular biology, the identification of genera and species became more reliable. The screening of microbial natural products has become an important route to discover new bioactive compounds in order to develop new therapeutic agents. Actinobacteria remains one of the leading producers of biopharmaceuticals; endophytic Actinobacteria also yield secondary metabolites with wide range of biological activity. This review focuses on gathering relevant information on identification, classification, chemical diversity of Actinobacteria, as well as reveals some biotechnological applications of these bacteria. Actinobacteria are microorganisms widely distributed in nature, inhabiting mainly soil, and plants. These prokaryotes are broadly responsible for the production of various metabolites commercially available, such as antibiotics, antifungal compounds, enzymes, and chemotherapeutic agents. Endophytic Actinobacteria also produce active substances, and have important functions in the development of plants with agro-industrial interest, as well as in research efforts against multidrug-resistant bacteria, in order to find new effective compounds that can be used in clinical routine. This review provides data with a focus on spreading the importance of these microorganisms, as well as turns the attention to the fact that more studies are necessary for application of these Actinobacteria as innovative biotechnological tools.
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Luana Cassandra Breitenbach Barroso Coelho
Departamento de Antibióticos, Centro de Biociências, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE), Avenida dos Economistas, S/N, Cidade Universitária, Recife-PE, CEP 52171-011, Brazil.
Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Biociências, UFPE, Avenida Moraes Rego, S/N, Cidade Universitária, Recife-PE, CEP 50670-420, Brazil.
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