Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sugar-coated Antibiotics

Date:
May 30, 2008
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
Researchers have recently elucidated the structure and function of an enzyme which is involved in decorating antibiotics with sugar molecules. Many antibiotics have different carbohydrate molecules attached to them which can help the antibiotic to be taken up by the target organism or overcome resistance. By manipulating the sugar, it may be possible to restore usefulness in antibiotics to which resistance has developed.

Researchers from the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia have recently elucidated the structure and function of an enzyme which is involved in decorating antibiotics with sugar molecules. Many antibiotics have a variety of different carbohydrate molecules attached to them which can help the antibiotic to be taken up by the target organism or overcome resistance. By manipulating the sugar, it may be possible to restore usefulness in antibiotics to which resistance has developed.

The aim of this research was to find out how these sugars are made, and how their structures affect their biological activity. The researchers studied an enzyme from a little studied species of Streptomyces bacteria, which produces the antibiotic tylosin. The enzyme they looked at is involved in making a sugar molecule that decorates tylosin. By working out how the carbohydrates are made, it may be possible to make unnatural sugars, with different properties.

"This is a bit of biochemistry we can't do with chemistry. We need to go back to the fundamentals of how these sugars are put together in nature", said Professor Rob Field. "We want to see what happens when we decorate an antibiotic with sugar and which sugars make the best decoration."

They are not yet near to a market product, but trying to understand at a fundamental level how these sugars are made. "We are still putting the toolkit together" said Professor Field. By modelling the enzyme, and comparing it with related enzymes, they have been able to identify the key parts needed for its function, and propose the biochemical basis for how it creates the carbohydrate's precise structure.

The work was co-published with Biotica, a natural products drug discovery company based in Cambridge, and was featured on the front cover of the journal ChemBioChem.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Sugar-coated Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080528095709.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2008, May 30). Sugar-coated Antibiotics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080528095709.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Sugar-coated Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080528095709.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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