Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Einstein researchers develop novel antibiotics that don't trigger resistance

17.03.2009
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is one of medicine's most vexing challenges. In a study described in Nature Chemical Biology, researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University are developing a new generation of antibiotic compounds that do not provoke bacterial resistance.

The compounds work against two notorious microbes: Vibrio cholerae, which causes cholera; and E. coli 0157:H7, the food contaminant that each year in the U.S. causes approximately 110,000 illnesses and 50 deaths.

Most antibiotics initially work extremely well, killing more than 99.9% of microbes they target. But through mutation and the selection pressure exerted by the antibiotic, a few bacterial cells inevitably manage to survive, repopulate the bacterial community, and flourish as antibiotic-resistant strains.

Vern L. Schramm, Ph.D., professor and Ruth Merns Chair of Biochemistry at Einstein and senior author of the paper, hypothesized that antibiotics that could reduce the infective functions of bacteria, but not kill them, would minimize the risk that resistance would later develop.

Dr. Schramm's collaborators at Industrial Research Ltd. earlier reported transition state analogues of an enzyme that interferes with "quorum sensing" — the process by which bacteria communicate with each other by producing and detecting signaling molecules known as autoinducers. These autoinducers coordinate bacterial gene expression and regulate processes — including virulence — that benefit the microbial community. Previous studies had shown that bacterial strains defective in quorum sensing cause less-serious infections.

Rather than killing Vibrio cholerae and E. coli 0157:H7, the researchers aimed to disrupt their ability to communicate via quorum sensing. Their target: A bacterial enzyme, MTAN, that is directly involved in synthesizing the autoinducers crucial to quorum sensing. Their plan: Design a substrate to which MTAN would bind much more tightly than to its natural substrate — so tightly, in fact, that the substrate analog permanently "locks up" MTAN and inhibits it from fueling quorum sensing.

To design such a compound, the Schramm lab first formed a picture of an enzyme's transition state — the brief (one-tenth of one-trillionth of a second) period in which a substrate is converted to a different chemical at an enzyme's catalytic site. (Dr. Schramm has pioneered efforts to synthesize transition state analogs that lock up enzymes of interest. One of these compounds, Forodesine, blocks an enzyme that triggers T-cell malignancies and is currently in a phase IIb pivitol clinical study treating cutaneous T-cell leukemia.)

In the Nature Chemical Biology study, Dr. Schramm and his colleagues tested three transition state analogs against the quorum sensing pathway. All three compounds were highly potent in disrupting quorum sensing in both V. cholerae and E. coli 0157:H7. To see whether the microbes would develop resistance, the researchers tested the analogs on 26 successive generations of both bacterial species. The 26th generations were as sensitive to the antibiotics as the first.

"In our lab, we call these agents everlasting antibiotics," said Dr. Schramm. He notes that many other aggressive bacterial pathogens — S. pneumoniae, N. meningitides, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus — express MTAN and therefore would probably also be susceptible to these inhibitors.

While this study involves three compounds, Dr. Schramm says that his team has now developed more than 20 potent MTAN inhibitors, all of which are expected to be safe for human use: Since MTAN is a bacterial enzyme, blocking it will have no effect on human metabolism.

Other Einstein researchers involved in the study were Jemy Gutierrez, the lead author, Tamara Crowder, Agnes Rinaldo-Matthis, M. C. (Joseph) Ho and Steven C. Almo. The powerful inhibitors were reported in an earlier publication in collaboration with the Carbohydrate Chemistry Team of Industrial Research Ltd., in New Zealand.

The study, "Transition State Analogs of 5' — Methylthioadenosine Nucleosidase Disrupt Quorum Sensing" by Vern L. Schramm et al., appears in the March 8, 2009 online edition of Nature Chemical Biology.

The compounds in this paper have been licensed to Pico Pharmaceuticals, which plans to develop and initiate clinical trials of transition-state analogues. Dr. Schramm is a Pico Pharmaceuticals co-founder and chairman of its scientific advisory board.

Deirdre Branley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aecom.yu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University

nachricht Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>