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!
Platinum nanoparticles for selective treatment of liver cancer cells
15.02.2019 | ETH Zurich
New molecular blueprint advances our understanding of photosynthesis
15.02.2019 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.
The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...
Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens
Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...
Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light
When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...
The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...
Physicists from the University of Basel have developed a new method to examine the elasticity and binding properties of DNA molecules on a surface at extremely low temperatures. With a combination of cryo-force spectroscopy and computer simulations, they were able to show that DNA molecules behave like a chain of small coil springs. The researchers reported their findings in Nature Communications.
DNA is not only a popular research topic because it contains the blueprint for life – it can also be used to produce tiny components for technical applications.
11.02.2019 | Event News
30.01.2019 | Event News
16.01.2019 | Event News
15.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
15.02.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
15.02.2019 | Life Sciences