The work, led by chemical biologist Dr Jason Micklefield in collaboration with geneticist Professor Colin Smith, is published online today (Wednesday 5 December 2007) and will appear in next issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Using funding from the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), scientists working in The School of Chemistry and the Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre have paved the way for the development of new types of antibiotics capable of fighting increasingly resistant bacteria.
Micklefield, Smith and colleagues were the first to engineer the biosynthesis of lipopeptide antibiotics of this class back in 2002.
They have now developed methodologies for altering the structure of these antibiotics, such as mutating, adding and deleting components.
This innovation provides access to thousands of lipopeptide variants that cannot be produced easily in any other way.
Dr Micklefield said: “The results from this work are essential in the development of the next generation of lipopeptide antibiotics, which are critical to combat emerging super bugs that have acquired resistance to other antibiotics.
“The potent activity of this class of antibiotics against pathogens that are resistant to all current antibiotic treatments makes them one of the most important groups of antibiotics available.
“Our work relies on interdisciplinary chemical-biology, spanning chemistry through to molecular genetics. It follows the tradition of pioneering work in natural product biosynthesis and engineering that has come out of the UK.”
Scientists in Manchester have been doing work on calcium dependant antibiotics (CDA), which belong to the same family of acidic lipopeptides as daptomycin.
In 2003 daptomycin became the first new structural class of natural antibiotic to reach hospitals in more than 30 years.
But researchers say there is already evidence that bacteria are evolving and becoming resistant to daptomycin – leading to the emergence of dangerous new super bugs.
Dr Micklefield added: “If we are to successfully fight and control potent new super bugs in the future, we need to be developing the next generation of antibiotics now.”
The research carried out by Dr Mickelfield and his colleagues is part of a larger £650,000 project called ‘Combinatorial biosynthesis of lipopeptide antibiotics’, which is funded by the BBSRC and supported by drug discovery company Biotica. It is concerned with elucidating and engineering biosynthetic pathways leading to complex nonribosomal lipopeptide antibiotics.
Jon Keighren | alfa
Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen
23.02.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Atomic Design by Water
23.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy