Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug resistance mechanism could impact development of two antibiotic drug candidates

Date:
February 20, 2014
Source:
Scripps Research Institute
Summary:
The use of antibiotics is often considered among the most important advances in the treatment of human disease. Unfortunately, bacteria are finding ways to make a comeback. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than two million people come down with antibiotic-resistant infections annually, and at least 23,000 die because their treatment can’t stop the infection. A mechanism of drug resistance has now been uncovered by researchers, and could have a major impact on the development of a pair of highly potent new antibiotic drug candidates.

Authors of the new study include (left to right) Professor Ben Shen, Research Associate Jeffrey Rudolf and Research Associate Tingting Huang of The Scripps Research Institute.
Credit: Image courtesy of Scripps Research Institute

The use of antibiotics is often considered among the most important advances in the treatment of human disease. Unfortunately, though, bacteria are finding ways to make a comeback. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than two million people come down with antibiotic-resistant infections annually, and at least 23,000 die because their treatment can't stop the infection. In addition, the pipeline for new antibiotics has grown dangerously thin.

Now, a new study by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has uncovered a mechanism of drug resistance. This knowledge could have a major impact on the development of a pair of highly potent new antibiotic drug candidates.

"Now, because we know the resistance mechanism, we can design elements to minimize the emergence of resistance as these promising new drug candidates are developed," said Ben Shen, a TSRI professor who led the study, which was published February 20, 2014 online ahead of print by the Cell Press journal Chemistry & Biology.

Bacteria Versus Bacteria

The study centers around a kind of bacteria known as Streptomyces platensis, which protects itself from other bacteria by secreting anti-bacterial substances. Interestingly, Streptomyces platensis belongs to a large family of antibiotic-producing bacteria that accounts for more than two-thirds of naturally occurring clinically useful antibiotics.

The antibiotic compounds secreted by Streptomyces platensis, which are called platensimycin and platencin and were discovered only recently, work by interfering with fatty acid synthesis. Fatty acid synthesis is essential for the production of bacterial cell walls and, consequently, the bacteria's existence. Platencin, although structurally similar to platensimycin, inhibits two separate enzymes in fatty acid synthesis instead of one.

The question remained, though, of why these compounds killed other bacteria, but not the producing bacteria Streptomyces platensis.

The Path to Resistance

The scientists set out to solve the mystery.

"Knowing how these bacteria protect themselves, what the mechanisms of self-resistance of the bacteria are, is important because they could transfer that resistance to other bacteria," said Tingting Huang, a research associate in the Shen laboratory who was first author of the study with Ryan M. Peterson of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Using genetic and bioinformatic techniques, the team identified two complementary mechanisms in the bacteria that confer resistance to platensimycin and platencin. In essence, the study found a pair of genes in Streptomyces platensis exploits a pathway to radically simplify fatty acid biosynthesis while bestowing an insensitivity to these particular antibiotics.

"Understanding how these elements work is a big leap forward," added Jeffrey D. Rudolf, a research associate in the Shen lab who worked on the study. "Now these bacteria have shown us how other bacteria might use this resistance mechanism to bypass fatty acid biosynthesis inhibition."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. RyanM. Peterson, Tingting Huang, JeffreyD. Rudolf, MichaelJ. Smanski, Ben Shen. Mechanisms of Self-Resistance in the Platensimycin- and Platencin-Producing Streptomyces platensis MA7327 and MA7339 Strains. Chemistry & Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2014.01.005

Cite This Page:

Scripps Research Institute. "Drug resistance mechanism could impact development of two antibiotic drug candidates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220131354.htm>.
Scripps Research Institute. (2014, February 20). Drug resistance mechanism could impact development of two antibiotic drug candidates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220131354.htm
Scripps Research Institute. "Drug resistance mechanism could impact development of two antibiotic drug candidates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220131354.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 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