Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibiotics that only partly block protein machinery allow germs to poison themselves

Date:
October 25, 2012
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Powerful antibiotics that scientists and physicians thought stop the growth of harmful bacteria by completely blocking their ability to make proteins actually allow the germs to continue producing certain proteins -- which may help do them in.

Powerful antibiotics that scientists and physicians thought stop the growth of harmful bacteria by completely blocking their ability to make proteins actually allow the germs to continue producing certain proteins -- which may help do them in.

Related Articles


The finding, by a team at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy, clarifies how antibiotics work and may aid in the discovery of new drugs or improve clinical therapy with existing ones. The study is published in the Oct. 26 issue of the journal Cell.

Among the most complex molecular machines in the cell are the ribosomes, responsible for churning out all the proteins a cell needs for survival. In bacteria, ribosomes are the target of many important antibiotics, says Alexander Mankin, professor and director of the UIC Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, who led the study.

Mankin and his colleagues picked apart the process of protein synthesis inside the ribosome, comparing the action of the classic antibiotics erythromycin and azithromycin and newer drugs called ketolides, which are used to treat serious infections.

Surprisingly, the more powerful drugs were the more "leaky" in blocking the production of proteins.

"We were shocked to discover that ketolides, which are known to be better antibiotics, allow for many more proteins to be made compared to the older, less efficient drugs," Mankin said. "We now believe that allowing cells to make some proteins could be much more damaging for a microbe than not letting it make any proteins at all."

The findings may point the way to better and more potent antibiotics, Mankin said. But he and colleagues are "thinking beyond just antibiotics."

"If a chemical can be designed that binds to the human ribosome and allows it to make good proteins but not bad ones, such as mutant enzymes or proteins that promote cancer, then such new drugs can treat many human maladies," he said.

Co-authors on the Cell paper are graduate student Krishna Kannan and research associate professor Nora Vazquez-Laslop. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.

UIC ranks among the nation's leading research universities and is Chicago's largest university with 27,500 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Krishna Kannan, Nora Vαzquez-Laslop, Alexander S. Mankin. Selective Protein Synthesis by Ribosomes with a Drug-Obstructed Exit Tunnel. Cell, 2012; 151 (3): 508 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.09.018

Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Antibiotics that only partly block protein machinery allow germs to poison themselves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025121837.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2012, October 25). Antibiotics that only partly block protein machinery allow germs to poison themselves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025121837.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Antibiotics that only partly block protein machinery allow germs to poison themselves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025121837.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

New Dinosaur Species Found in Museum Collection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 27, 2014) — A British palaeontologist has discovered a new species of dinosaur while studying fossils in a Canadian museum. Pentaceratops aquilonius was related to Triceratops and lived at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani 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