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1-2 punch strategy against bacteria and cancer
Date:2/11/2013

grown resistant to traditional antibiotics.

"Bacteria are notorious for their rapid development of drug resistance," Ben-Jacob said. "However, both bacteria and cancer have impaired ability to resist these man-made 'mirror' compounds because they cannot use the machinery they have evolved to disarm the right-handed weapons."

Onuchic said another advantage of therapies involving synthetic AMPs like D-KLAKLAK-2 is that the drugs can be administered in extremely small doses, which will reduce side effects.

The Rice team suggests maximizing the benefits of synthetic AMPs by using them in drug cocktails that act like a one-two punch for either bacteria or cancer.

Naturally occurring AMPs are chemical weapons that bacteria themselves have developed over millions of years in their never-ending war among themselves. The team reasons that combining these natural toxins with man-made mirror drugs will create the drug equivalent of a one-two punch. The combination should "confuse" bacteria and cancer and prevent them from rapidly becoming resistant to the man-made drugs.

"Nature is smarter than we are," Ben-Jacob said. "Time and again, we have seen that seemingly simple cellular foes like bacteria and cancer can learn to mount effective defenses against any new drug we create. It is time to accept them as sophisticated enemies. We should attack them in much the same way that a well-trained boxer or military commander would go after a wily opponent -- with multiple, coordinated blows of very different kinds."


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Contact: Jade Boyd
jadeboyd@rice.edu
713-348-6778
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

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