Researchers at McMaster University are addressing the crisis in drug resistance with a novel approach to find new antibiotics.
"We have developed technology to find new antibiotics using laboratory conditions that mimic those of infection in the human body," said Eric Brown, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
He is the lead author of the paper published in the online edition of Nature Chemical Biology today. Brown is also a member of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR).
The findings report on the discovery of chemical compounds that block the ability of bacteria to make vitamins and amino acids, processes that are emerging as Achilles' heels for bacteria that infect the human body.
"The approach belies conventional thinking in antibiotic research and development, where researchers typically look for chemicals that block growth in the laboratory under nutrient-rich conditions, where vitamins and amino acids are plentiful," said Brown. "But in the human body these substances are in surprisingly short supply and the bacteria are forced to make these and other building blocks from scratch."
Brown's research group targeted these processes looking for chemicals that blocked the growth of bacteria under nutrient-limited conditions.
"We threw away chemicals that blocked growth in conventional nutrient-rich conditions and focused instead on those that were only active in nutrient-poor conditions," he said.
"We're taking fresh aim at bacterial vitamin and amino acid production and finding completely novel antibacterial compounds."
The approach and the new leads discovered by Brown's lab have potential to provide much-needed therapies to address the growing global threat of antibiotic drug resistance.
"When it comes to this kind of new drug discovery technology, Brown's group are fishing in a new pond," said professor Gerry Wright, director of the IIDR. "These leads have real prospects as an entirely new kind of antibacterial therapy."
Funding for the research was provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, a Canada Research Chair award and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.
Veronica McGuire | EurekAlert!
Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover
First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences