Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Findings Offer Potential New Targets For Antibiotics

Date:
November 7, 2005
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
A new study of genetic changes in bacteria may ultimately help drug makers stay a step ahead of disease-causing bacteria that can become resistant to antibiotics. The secret lies in understanding the function of the ribosome, a tiny protein-making factory residing inside most cells. Many currently used antibiotics alter a ribosome's ability to make proteins.

Escherichia coli.
Credit: Image courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

A new study of genetic changes in bacteria may ultimately help drug makers stay a step ahead of disease-causing bacteria that can become resistant to antibiotics.

Related Articles


The secret lies in understanding the function of the ribosome, a tiny protein-making factory residing inside most cells.

Many currently used antibiotics alter a ribosome's ability to make proteins, said Kurt Fredrick, a study co-author and an assistant professor of microbiology at Ohio State University.

But he and his colleagues at the University of Illinois thought that there may be additional places in a ribosome that future antibiotics could affect, places that current antibiotics don't currently target.

The researchers were right.

“Antibiotic resistance will always be an issue,” Fredrick said. “But as long as we can stay ahead of the ability of the pathogens to resist antibiotics, we're okay.”

The findings appear online this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Fredrick co-authored the study with lead author Alexander Mankin and with Aymen Yassin, both with the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Fredrick provided a strain of Escherichia coli important for the study.

In order to find out if their initial hunch was correct – that there actually are other “hot spots” on a ribosome that could act as potential targets for antibiotics – the researchers first introduced a mutated copy of the ribosomal genes into E. coli cells and looked for those rare mutations that could interfere with cell growth. It was known from previous studies that such deleterious mutations occurred within critical regions of the ribosome.

After identifying dozens of deleterious mutations, the researchers were able to produce a composite map showing where these mutations were positioned on the ribosomes. Interestingly, the map indicated that there were four additional places on ribosomes where these mutations clustered. While researchers already knew that these sites existed, they did not know that these areas could possibly become targets for antibiotics.

These sites are what may one day give pharmaceutical companies an edge in creating new antibiotics in order to keep ahead of bacteria's clever way of developing resistance to antibiotics.

“Now that we know these other sites exist and that they could be potential targets for antibiotics, the next step is to figure out how exactly these mutations interfere with the cell's own ribosomes,” Fredrick said.

The research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Study Findings Offer Potential New Targets For Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051107085558.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2005, November 7). Study Findings Offer Potential New Targets For Antibiotics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051107085558.htm
Ohio State University. "Study Findings Offer Potential New Targets For Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051107085558.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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