Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Strike Blow In Superbugs Struggle

Date:
December 11, 2007
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
Scientists have pioneered new ways of tweaking the molecular structure of antibiotics -- an innovation that could be crucial in the fight against powerful superbugs. They have paved the way for the development of new types of antibiotics capable of fighting increasingly resistant bacteria.

Scientists from The University of Manchester have pioneered new ways of tweaking the molecular structure of antibiotics -- an innovation that could be crucial in the fight against powerful super bugs.

The work was led by chemical biologist Dr Jason Micklefield in collaboration with geneticist Professor Colin Smith.

Scientists working in The School of Chemistry and the Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre have paved the way for the development of new types of antibiotics capable of fighting increasingly resistant bacteria.

Micklefield, Smith and colleagues were the first to engineer the biosynthesis of lipopeptide antibiotics of this class back in 2002. They have now developed methodologies for altering the structure of these antibiotics, such as mutating, adding and deleting components.

This innovation provides access to thousands of lipopeptide variants that cannot be produced easily in any other way.

Dr Micklefield said: "The results from this work are essential in the development of the next generation of lipopeptide antibiotics, which are critical to combat emerging super bugs that have acquired resistance to other antibiotics.

"The potent activity of this class of antibiotics against pathogens that are resistant to all current antibiotic treatments makes them one of the most important groups of antibiotics available.

"Our work relies on interdisciplinary chemical-biology, spanning chemistry through to molecular genetics. It follows the tradition of pioneering work in natural product biosynthesis and engineering that has come out of the UK."

Scientists in Manchester have been doing work on calcium dependent antibiotics (CDA), which belong to the same family of acidic lipopeptides as daptomycin.

In 2003 daptomycin became the first new structural class of natural antibiotic to reach hospitals in more than 30 years.

But researchers say there is already evidence that bacteria are evolving and becoming resistant to daptomycin -- leading to the emergence of dangerous new super bugs.

Dr Micklefield added: "If we are to successfully fight and control potent new super bugs in the future, we need to be developing the next generation of antibiotics now."

The research carried out by Dr Mickelfield and his colleagues is part of a larger 650,000 project called 'Combinatorial biosynthesis of lipopeptide antibiotics', which is funded by the BBSRC and supported by drug discovery company Biotica. It is concerned with elucidating and engineering biosynthetic pathways leading to complex nonribosomal lipopeptide antibiotics.

'Engineered biosynthesis of non-ribosomal lipopeptides with modified fatty acid side chains' was published online December 5 and will also appear a forthcoming print issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Funding was provided by the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Scientists Strike Blow In Superbugs Struggle." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071205095326.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2007, December 11). Scientists Strike Blow In Superbugs Struggle. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071205095326.htm
University of Manchester. "Scientists Strike Blow In Superbugs Struggle." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071205095326.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
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