Scientists have known that the drug linezolid -- the first new antibiotic to enter the marketplace in 30 years -- works by binding to ribosomes, the protein production factory of the cell. But exactly where the binding occurred and how the drug worked was not known. Until now.
"Linezolid targets ribosomes, inhibits protein synthesis, and kills bacteria," said Alexander Mankin, professor and associate director of UIC's Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and lead investigator of the study. "If we know exactly where the drug binds, we can make it better and learn how to use it more effectively."
Linezolid is a synthetic antibiotic used for the treatment of infections caused by pathogens such as staph and strep, including multi-drug-resistant bacteria. Skin infections, pneumonia, and other diseases can be treated with linezolid. It is marketed in the United States as Zyvox.
Mankin and his colleagues managed not only to crosslink the drug to its target in the living cell, but to precisely characterize the mode of binding of the drug to the ribosome.
"It was a combined effort of excellent chemists, structural biologists and biochemists," Mankin said.
"We now understand much better how the drug works, how it can be improved, and how bacteria can become resistant to linezolid."
A second part of the study involved learning why, in rare cases, the drug can have side effects causing a decrease in the production of blood cells. By crosslinking linezolid to its target in human cells, the researchers showed that the drug may be toxic to mitochondria -- the power generators of the cell -- which contain ribosomes that resemble the ribosomes of bacteria.
"This is the first time such detailed information about the linezolid target in the living cell has been obtained," Mankin said.
Sam Hostettler | EurekAlert!
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
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...
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...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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...
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...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy