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Biomedical engineers' detective work reveals antibiotic mechanism
Date:11/17/2008

pen up new possibilities in fighting the looming specter of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Knowing some of the specific differences between antibiotics that kill bacteria and those that have a weaker effect could allow researchers to transform the weaker antibiotics into more potent ones. This may bring some antibiotics with fading utility back into the limelight to fight infections, noted Collins.

The molecular alarm systems may also present new targets for antibiotic drugs. Historically, drugs have aimed their destructive powers at important cellular functions in the bacteria -- such as the ribosomes that translate genetic information. In revealing this new array of peripheral players in the bacteria's function, the Collins team has uncovered new drug targets. Creating drugs that attack these molecular alarms could help cripple the bacteria and, coupled with an older antibiotic, deliver a fatal blow.

"A lot of drug development has focused on targeting something that's important for the cell to live -- something essential," said Kohanski. "But if you understand the system and its complexity, you don't necessarily have to hit the gene or the protein that is the essential factor."


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Contact: Ronald Rosenberg
ronrosen@bu.edu
617-358-1240
Boston University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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