Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Uncover The Exact Mode Of Action Of Five Antibiotic Drugs

Date:
October 25, 2001
Source:
Weizmann Institute
Summary:
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science and Germany’s Max-Planck Society have discovered how five antibiotic drugs function by binding to the bacterial ribosome – the cell’s "protein factory" – and shutting off all protein production. Proteins are the cells primary component and the basis of all enzymatic reactions. Blocking their production kills the bacterium.

Rehovot, Israel (October 24, 2001) -—Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science and Germany’s Max-Planck Society have discovered how five antibiotic drugs function by binding to the bacterial ribosome – the cell’s "protein factory" – and shutting off all protein production. Proteins are the cells primary component and the basis of all enzymatic reactions. Blocking their production kills the bacterium.

The research team headed by Prof. Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute’s Structural Biology Department and the Max-Planck Research Units for Ribosomal Structure in Hamburg and Berlin uncovered the exact mode of action of these drugs. Prof. Yonath recently revealed the complex structure of the ribosome, culminating 20 years of scientific research in a study described by the prestigious journal Science, as one of the most important scientific discoveries of the year 2000. The goal of elucidating the structure of the ribosome – a notoriously unstable, giant nucleoprotein complex – had challenged scientists for years.

Using their extensive understanding of ribosomal structure, Prof. Ada Yonath, Dr. Anat Bashan and Ph.D. Student Raz Zarivach, decided to examine how different antibiotics bind to the ribosome and “shut off” its protein production. To do so they treated bacteria with one of five different antibiotics and then created crystals capturing the individual complexes formed between the bacterial ribosome and each drug.

To examine these microscopic structures, the scientists bombarded the crystals with high intensity X-ray beams, analyzed how the rays diffract, and then worked backward to decipher the crystal’s exact structure – a technology known as X-ray crystallography. Using this method, the researchers were able, for the first time, to view how the antibiotic drugs bind to a specific site of action on the ribosome, shutting off its machinery. These findings are reported today in Nature.

A better understanding of the mode of action of antibiotic drugs may improve the treatment strategies of existing drugs, and lead to rational drug design of antibiotics designed to better target bacterial agents at the ribosomal level.

The Max-Planck scientists collaborating in this study are Francois Franceschi, Joerg Harms, Ante Tocilj, Renate Albrecht, and Frank Schluenzen.

A hard copy color picture is available upon request. The image is also posted at: http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/weizmann/doa_iis.dll/Serve/level/English/1.200.html

Donor support: The Helen & Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure & Assembly, the Joseph and Ceil Mazer Foundation, and the Solomon and Rebecca Baker Foundation. Professor Ada Yonath is the incumbent of the Martin S. Kimmel Professorial Chair.

The Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world’s foremost centers of scientific research and graduate study. Its 2,500 scientists, students, technicians and engineers pursue basic research in the quest for knowledge and to enhance the quality of human life. New ways of fighting disease and hunger, protecting the environment and harnessing alternative sources of energy are high priorities at Weizmann.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Weizmann Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Weizmann Institute. "Scientists Uncover The Exact Mode Of Action Of Five Antibiotic Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011025072539.htm>.
Weizmann Institute. (2001, October 25). Scientists Uncover The Exact Mode Of Action Of Five Antibiotic Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011025072539.htm
Weizmann Institute. "Scientists Uncover The Exact Mode Of Action Of Five Antibiotic Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011025072539.htm (accessed July 27, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

Europe's Highest Train Turns 80 in French Pyrenees

AFP (July 25, 2014) Europe's highest train, the little train of Artouste in the French Pyrenees, celebrates its 80th birthday. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins