Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bacteriophage genomics approach to antimicrobial drug discovery published in Nature Biotechnology

12.01.2004


Identifying the targets that bacterial viruses, or phages, use to halt bacterial growth and then screening against those targets for small molecule inhibitors that attack the same targets provides a unique platform for the discovery of novel antibiotics. Researchers from Montreal-based PhageTech, Inc. describe in the February issue of Nature Biotechnology this novel method for discovering new classes of antibiotics. The article is available on-line today at www.nature.com/nbt/.



"Over the course of evolution, the multitudes of phages that attack bacteria have developed unique proteins that bind to and inactivate (or redirect) critical cellular targets within their prey," said Jing Liu, Ph.D., corresponding author of the publication. "This binding shuts off key metabolic processes in the bacteria, diverting those organisms from their own growth and reproduction to the production of new phage progeny. We believe these phage-identified bacterial "weak spots" will provide useful screening targets for discovering the sorts of truly novel antibiotics needed to combat growing antibiotic resistance."

The publication’s authors used a high-throughput phage genomics strategy to identify novel 31 novel polypeptide families that inhibit Staphylococcus aureus growth when expressed in the bacteria. Several of these were found to attack targets essential for bacterial DNA replication or transcription. They then employed the interaction between a prototypic phage peptide, ORF104 of phage 77, and its bacterial target, DnaI, to screen for small molecule inhibitors. Using this strategy, the researchers found several novel compounds that inhibited both bacterial growth and DNA synthesis.


"This strategy offers several benefits as a novel approach to antimicrobial drug discovery," said Jinzi J. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., PhageTech vice president, R&D - biology. "First, the bacterial targets identified in this manner are evolutionarily validated as important to bacterial growth and potentially susceptible to inactivation by small molecule drugs. This allows us to quickly pinpoint the most promising anti-microbial targets from among thousands of possible candidates. Second, this approach provides a ready-to-use screening assay based on inhibition of interactions between a phage peptide and its bacterial target."

"The fight against growing bacterial resistance requires new classes of antibiotics against novel targets. Our strategy of screening for compounds that address the same antibacterial targets attacked by phages is a very good way of identifying novel compounds against many different bacterial species," concluded Dr Wu.

Applying its novel antibiotic discovery platform, PhageTech has identified eight novel antimicrobial targets against which the company is screening chemical libraries and applying medicinal chemistry to further refine and evaluate those inhibitors. PhageTech has also continued to expand its phage genomics platform from Staphylococcus aureus to other bacterial pathogens including Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.


About PhageTech

PhageTech is a private, venture-backed biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of new classes of antibiotic drugs for novel antibacterial targets, based on its world-leading efforts in phage genomics. By unraveling the genetic code of phages, or bacterial viruses, PhageTech identified antimicrobial proteins used by the phages to kill or stop the growth of bacteria, as well as the specific bacterial targets with which those proteins interact. The company then screens these bacterial targets to identify novel small molecule drugs that attack the same targets to achieve bacterial growth inhibitory effects. PhageTech is headquartered in Montreal, Québec. For more information on PhageTech, please contact Michel Harpin, director of business development at 514-332-1008.

Contact:

Michel Harpin
Director, Business Development
PhageTech
514-332-1008
mharpin@phagetech.com

Joan Kureczka
Kureczka/Martin Associates
415-821-2413
Jkureczka@aol.com

Joan Kureczka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nbt/
http://www.phagetech.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>