Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Decoy Makes Sitting Duck Of Superbugs

05.12.2007
A DNA-based therapy could slash the development time of new drugs to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs.

Scientists from the John Innes Centre have proven that by taking a short stretch of DNA from a bacterium and delivering it with an existing antibiotic they can switch off antibiotic resistance.

Together with technology transfer company PBL, the scientists have launched a spin-out company, Procarta Biosystems Ltd, to develop the technology.

“The DNA sequence acts as a decoy, disrupting gene expression and blocking resistance”, said Dr Michael McArthur from JIC.

“We are putting genetic information directly into drugs. This is the first application of a DNA based therapy”.

The scientists have also patented a way of discovering decoys in bacteria without necessarily having to know the genes involved. This means they can develop effective new drugs against any bacterium within a couple of years and at a fraction of the normal cost.

The technology can give fresh patent life to existing antibiotics - when combined with a decoy they can be patented as a new drug.

This comes at a time when the number of new antibiotics receiving approval has dramatically declined. Faced with antibiotic resistance the pharmaceutical industry is unlikely to be able to deliver new products.

“Natural resistance will always be hot on the heels of a new antibiotic because they co-evolve”, said Dr McArthur. “Ours’ is not a traditional pharmaceutical approach and provides a completely new challenge to bacteria”.

The technology can also be used to improve the production of antibiotics by bacteria and to produce enzymes and other compounds using bacteria for use in industrial processes.

Many industrial processes are harsh and unsustainable, using petrochemicals, high temperatures and creating toxic by-products. In industrial biotechnology, also called “white biotechnology”, bacteria make medically and commercially important compounds biologically.

“By using bacteria, many industrial processes could be cleaned up”, said Dr McArthur.

The Procarta scientists found that the bacterium Streptomyces produces a particularly high yield of enzymes and proteins. Unusually, it can also secrete the proteins it produces so they do not have to be extracted.

“Streptomyces is the enzyme producing bacterium with bells and whistles, set to make a major contribution to a market already predicted to be worth £400 million by 2010”, said Dr McArthur.

We use the products of white biotechnology in our everyday lives. They contribute to ingredients in the food we eat, energy we use that has been generated with renewable biomass rather than fossil fuels, medicines we take, and everyday products such as detergents, paint and paper.

Zoe Dunford | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jic.ac.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Faba fix for corn's nitrogen need
11.04.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops
09.04.2018 | John Innes Centre

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment

20.04.2018 | Health and Medicine

Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

20.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Clear as mud: Desiccation cracks help reveal the shape of water on Mars

20.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>