Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers find new chemical key that could unlock hundreds of new antibiotics

29.10.2008
Chemistry researchers at The University of Warwick and the John Innes Centre, have found a novel signalling molecule that could be a key that will open up hundreds of new antibiotics unlocking them from the DNA of the Streptomyces family of bacteria.

With bacterial resistance growing researchers are keen to uncover as many new antibiotics as possible. Some of the Streptomyces bacteria are already used industrially to produce current antibiotics and researchers have developed approaches to find and exploit new pathways for antibiotic production in the genome of the Streptomyces family.

For many years it was thought that the relatively unstable butyrolactone compounds represented by “A-factor” were the only real signal for stimulating such pathways of possible antibiotic production but the Warwick and John Innes teams have now found a much more stable group of compounds that may have the potential to produce at least one new antibiotic compound from up to 50% of the 1000 or so known Streptomyces family of bacteria.

Colonies of bacteria such as Streptomyces naturally make antibiotics as a defence mechanism when those colonies are under stress and thus more susceptible to attack from other bacteria. The colonies need to produce a compound to spread a signal across the colony to start producing their natural antibiotic weapons.

The amounts of such signalling material produced are incredibly small. Only micrograms of these compounds can be isolated by Chemists and usually the available instrumentation needs at least milligrams of material to make a useful analysis. However the Warwick team was able to make use of the University of Warwick’s 700 MHz NMR machine to get a close look at just micrograms of 5 new possible signalling compounds identified as 2-alkyl-4-hydroxymethylfuran-3-carboxylic acids (or AHFCAs).

The researchers, led by Dr Christophe Corre, and Professor Greg Challis from the University of Warwick’s Department of Chemistry were able to combine their new insight into these compounds with the relatively new full genetic sequences now available of some Streptomyces bacteria. They became convinced that the AHFCA group of compounds could play a role in stimulating the production of known and novel antibiotics. When they added AHFCAs to Streptomyces coelicolor W81 they were proved correct as it stimulated the production of methylenomycin antibiotics.

While the methylenomycins were already known as antibiotics, the researchers think it likely that novel pathways for antibiotic production are also under the control of AHFCAs. The AHFCAs should be relatively easy to make in significant quantity in a lab and could be used as a new tool for discovery of antibiotics. The researchers are now seeking funding to explore the AHFCAs and develop a novel approach for drug discovery. Introducing a variety of AHFCAs to various Streptomyces bacteria could activate hundreds of pathways for antibiotic production.

The lead researcher on the paper Dr Christophe Corre, from the University of Warwick’s Department of Chemistry said:

“Early results also suggest that this approach could switch on novel antibiotic production pathways in up to 50% of Streptomyces bacteria. With thousands of known members of the Streptomyces family that could mean that AHFCAs could unlock hundreds of new antibiotics to replenish our dwindling arsenal of effective antibiotic drugs.”

Peter Dunn | alfa
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/researchers_find_new/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>