Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Antibiotic Target Could Mean The End Of Pneumonia

Date:
December 28, 2004
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists have found a “molecular Achilles heel” in the organism that causes pneumonia, providing a target for the development of a new class of antibiotics that could eventually eradicate the disease.

Scientists have found a “molecular Achilles heel” in the organism that causes pneumonia, providing a target for the development of a new class of antibiotics that could eventually eradicate the disease.

Related Articles


Their report is scheduled to appear in the Dec. 28 edition of Biochemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

“Streptococcus pneumoniae places an enormous burden on the welfare of humanity,” says Thomas Leyh, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and lead author of the paper. “Worldwide, the organism takes the lives of some 3,700 people daily, the majority of whom are children below the age of five.”

Decades of antibiotic use have produced drug-resistant strains of S. pneumoniae that are capable of evading even our so-called “last-line-of-defense” antibiotics, such as vancomycin. In the United States alone, the roughly 7 million annual cases of inner ear infections caused by this organism saddle the U.S. heath care system with an estimated $5 billion burden, Leyh says.

The virulence of S. pneumoniae requires a properly functioning channel called the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway. Leyh and his colleagues have discovered that an intermediate in the pathway — diphosphomevalonate, or DPM — can inhibit the first enzyme, effectively shutting down the whole process.

“If you switch this pathway off, the organism is in big trouble,” Leyh says. Without this channel, the normally pathogenic S. pneumoniae is unable to survive in mouse lungs and its virulence is severely attenuated.

“Remarkably, the human enzyme is not influenced by the inhibitor,” Leyh says. This means that S. pneumoniae in human lungs or blood should be inhibited without any negative effect on human metabolism.

DPM binds to its own “pocket” on the enzyme, and therefore cannot be dislodged by the enzyme’s natural substrates. Pharmaceutical companies consider such targets to be among the most important elements in deciding whether or not to pursue a problem, according to Leyh. “We recognize the need to work with a pharmaceutical partner to bring our basic research discovery to the bedside, and, hopefully, to cure this disease.”

The researchers plan to use DPM as a template for developing novel antibiotics to cure pneumonia and other streptococcal diseases, such as meningitis. “We consider DPM a very powerful lead compound,” Leyh continues. “It’s about as compelling as it can be at this stage.” Leyh’s lab is currently developing and testing five compounds based on the DPM template for their potential as new antibiotics.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New Antibiotic Target Could Mean The End Of Pneumonia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220012836.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2004, December 28). New Antibiotic Target Could Mean The End Of Pneumonia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220012836.htm
American Chemical Society. "New Antibiotic Target Could Mean The End Of Pneumonia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220012836.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU, Russia, Ukraine Seal Breakthrough Gas Accord

EU, Russia, Ukraine Seal Breakthrough Gas Accord

AFP (Oct. 31, 2014) Russia agrees to resume gas deliveries to war-torn Ukraine through the winter in an EU-brokered, multi-billion dollar deal signed by the three parties in Brussels. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Relief After “gas War” Is Averted

Relief After “gas War” Is Averted

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 31, 2014) A gas war between Russia and Ukraine has been averted. But as Hayley Platt reports a deal was only reached after Kiev's western creditors agreed to partly funding the deal. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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