Extremophiles: Radiation resistance microbial reserves and therapeutic implications

O. V. Singh, P. Gabani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Micro-organisms with the ability to survive in extreme environmental conditions are known as 'extremophiles'. Currently, extremophiles have caused a sensation in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industries with their novel compounds, known as 'extremolytes'. The potential applications of extremolytes are being investigated for human therapeutics including anticancer drugs, antioxidants, cell cycle-blocking agents, anticholesteric drugs, etc. It is hypothesized that the majority of ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-resistant micro-organisms can be used to develop anticancer drugs to prevent skin damage from UVR. The metabolites from UVR-resistant microbes are a great source of potential therapeutic applications in humans. This article aims to discuss the potentials of extremolytes along with their therapeutic implications of UVR extremophiles. The major challenges of therapeutic development using extremophiles are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-861
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticancer
  • Extremolytes
  • Extremophiles
  • Micro-organisms
  • Therapeutics
  • Ultraviolet radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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