Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New compound effectively treats fungal infections

22.06.2007
Researchers unravel how a powerful new compound kills fungi by blocking protein synthesis
A new mechanism to attack hard-to-treat fungal infections has been revealed by scientists from the biotech company Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc., California, and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in Grenoble, France. In the current issue of Science they describe how a new compound kills fungal pathogens by blocking an enzyme crucial for their protein synthesis.

The human body is home to many different kinds of fungi. While the majority normally do not harm us, some fungi can cause unpleasant infections of skin, nails or lungs.

“We have discovered a new compound that has the potential to treat common chronic nail infections caused by fungi,” says Dickon Alley, researcher at Anacor Pharmaceuticals. “The compound, called AN2690, kills fungi by blocking their ability to make proteins.”

... more about:
»AN2690 »RNA »enzyme »fungal »infections »synthesis »tRNA

AN2690 interferes with an enzyme called leucyl-tRNA synthetase, which is involved in translation, one of the last steps in the process of turning a gene’s DNA code into a protein. The process begins when the cell makes an RNA version of the gene’s code, called messenger RNA. Ribosomes, the cell’s protein synthesis machinery, then translate the messenger RNA into protein by stitching together the amino acids in the order specified by the message. This requires the help of molecules called tRNAs, which link the code of the messenger RNA to the correct amino acid.

Leucyl-tRNA synthetase is one of a group of enzymes called aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases that attach the correct amino acid to each tRNA. Some of these enzymes have two main functional parts, or active sites: a site that links the amino acid to the tRNA, and a separate editing site that proofreads this process and removes wrongly added amino acids.

To find out how exactly AN2690 blocks leucyl-tRNA synthetase Stephen Cusack, Head of EMBL Grenoble, and his team generated crystals of the enzyme bound to tRNA in the presence of AN2690. Examining them with the high-intensity X-ray source at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Cusack and his colleagues found that AN2690 sticks in the editing site of the enzyme where it makes a very strong bond to the end of the tRNA, trapping it on the enzyme. This stops the enzyme working and thus blocks protein synthesis, killing the fungal cell. The mechanism crucially depends on a boron atom that is part of AN2690, which is needed to link the compound to the tRNA. It is the first time that scientists describe such a mechanism, suggesting boron containing compounds as a promising new class of drug candidates.

“Now that we know how AN2690 works, the same approach could be adapted to target other aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases with editing sites and also other pathogenic microbes,” concludes Cusack. “We are now working towards finding related antibacterial compounds that could help counter the problem of antibiotic resistance.”

Anna-Lynn Wegener | alfa
Further information:
http://www.embl.org/aboutus/news/press/2007/22jun07/

Further reports about: AN2690 RNA enzyme fungal infections synthesis tRNA

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines
20.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees
20.11.2018 | Universität Leipzig

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Sustainable energy supply in developing and emerging countries: What are the needs?

21.11.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>