Ribosomally synthesised and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) are a class of secondary metabolites that share a common biosynthetic origin - a precursor gene, encoded on the genome of a microorganism. It is translated to a peptide by the ribosome, and then further modified to give the active final product. RiPPs can be divided in more than 20 sub-classes and have a wide range of biological functions: among others, they can work as antibiotics, nutritional additives or food preservatives. Thus, the use of RiPPs as drugs is increasing and several RiPP derivatives are already in advanced phases of clinical trials. In this project, prediction modules for a number of RiPP clusters will be developed. Working together with the mentors, who can provide technical and scientific advice, antiSMASH plug-ins will be created to allow researchers to identify the RiPP precursor gene, identify the cleavage sites of the core peptide and predict further modifications to its sctructure. With these plug-ins, we hope to accelerate all the research involving RiPPs and consequently, shorten the time “between the bench and the bed” for possible new drugs.




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