Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Path To New Antibiotics

Date:
August 28, 2009
Source:
Burnham Institute
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated that an enzyme that is essential to many bacteria can be targeted to kill dangerous pathogens. In addition, investigators discovered chemical compounds that can inhibit this enzyme and suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria. These findings are essential to develop new broad-spectrum antibacterial agents to overcome multidrug resistance.

Researchers at Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and University of Maryland have demonstrated that an enzyme that is essential to many bacteria can be targeted to kill dangerous pathogens. In addition, investigators discovered chemical compounds that can inhibit this enzyme and suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria. These findings are essential to develop new broad-spectrum antibacterial agents to overcome multidrug resistance.

The research was published in the Cell journal Chemistry & Biology on August 27.

Andrei Osterman, Ph.D., an associate professor in Burnham’s Bioinformatics and Systems Biology program, and colleagues, targeted the bacterial nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NadD), an essential enzyme for nicotinamide adenine dinculeotide (NAD) biosynthesis. NAD has many crucial functions in nearly all important pathogens and the bacterial NadD differs significantly from the human enzyme.

“It’s clear that because of bacterial resistance, we need new, wide-spectrum antibiotics,” said Dr. Osterman. “This enzyme is indispensable in many pathogens, so finding ways to inhibit it could give us new options against infection.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, drug resistance is making many diseases increasingly difficult—and sometimes impossible—to treat. They point to tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as two pathogens that pose a serious threat to human health.

Using a structure-based approach, the team searched for low-molecular-weight compounds that would selectively inhibit bacterial NadD, but not the human equivalent, by screening, in silico, more than a million compounds. Experimental testing of the best predicted compounds against Escherichia coli and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) led them to a handful of versatile inhibitory chemotypes, which they explored in detail. Using protein crystallography, a 3D structure of the enzyme in complex with one of the inhibitors was solved providing guidelines for further drug improvement.

“This is proof-of-concept that NadD is a good target to create antibacterial agents,” said Dr Osterman. “This knowledge will be useful for both biodefense and public health. The next step is to find better inhibitors. We do not have a silver bullet yet, but we are certainly hitting a golden target.”

This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Burnham Institute. "The Path To New Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827131830.htm>.
Burnham Institute. (2009, August 28). The Path To New Antibiotics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827131830.htm
Burnham Institute. "The Path To New Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827131830.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) Green balls of algae washed up on Sydney, Australia's Dee Why Beach. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
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