In the search for new antibiotics, researchers are taking an unusual approach: They are developing peptides, short chains of protein building blocks that effectively inhibit a key enzyme of bacterial metabolism.
Bacteria such as Escherichia coli, shown here in electron microscopic magnification, are susceptible to the novel antibiotic peptides developed by HIPS researchers. © HZI / Rohde
Now, scientists at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) in Saarbrücken, a branch of the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research (HZI), have published their findings and the implications for potential medical application in the scientific journal ACS Chemical Biology.The road from gene to protein has an important stop along the way: ribonucleic acid, or RNA. This molecule is essentially a "negative copy" of DNA, the cell's hereditary material, and serves as a blueprint for the cell to make proteins, the basic building blocks of life. This "template" is assembled by the enzyme RNA polymerase, whose job it is to read off the information that is stored within the DNA molecule.
ACS Chemical Biology, 2013, DOI: 10.1021/cb3005758 http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/cb3005758
Dr. Jan Grabowski | Helmholtz-Zentrum
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