Navigation Links
'Left-handed iron corkscrews' point the way to new weapon in battle against superbugs like MRSA
Date:11/28/2011

Scientists at the University of Warwick have taken inspiration from corkscrew structures found in nature to develop a new weapon in the fight against infections like E-coli and MRSA.

Researchers have created a new synthetic class of helix-shaped molecules which they believe could be a key tool in the worldwide battle against antibiotic resistance.

By twisting molecules around iron atoms they have created what they term 'flexicates' which are active against MRSA and E-coli - but which also appear to have low toxicity, reducing the potential for side effects if used in treatment.

The work is published in Nature Chemistry.

The new structures harness the phenomenon of 'chirality' or 'handedness' whereby the corkscrew molecules could be left-handed or right-handed.

By making the most effective 'hand' to attack a specific disease, the University of Warwick research paves the way towards a more targeted approach to killing pathogens.

In the case of E-coli and MRSA, it is the left 'hand' which is most effective.

Professor Peter Scott of the University of Warwick's chemistry department said although this particular study concentrated on flexicates' activity against MRSA and E-coli, the new method of assembly could also result in new treatments for other diseases.

"It's a whole new area of chemistry that really opens up the landscape to other practical uses.

"These new molecules are synthetically flexible, which means that with a bit of tweaking they can be put to use against a whole host of different diseases, not just bugs like MRSA which are rapidly developing resistance to traditional antibiotics.

"Flexicates are also easier to make and produce less waste than many current antibiotics."

Scientists have long been able to copy nature's corkscrew-shaped molecules in man-made structures known as helicates but they have thus far not been able to use them in fighting diseases.

One of the key issues is the problem of handedness.

Sometimes 'left-handed' molecules in drugs are the most effective at combating some disease, while sometimes the 'right-handed' version works best.

Until now, scientists working with helicates have found it difficult to make samples containing just one type of corkscrew; either the right- or left-handed twist.

But with flexicates, the University of Warwick scientists have succeeded in making samples containing just one type of twist resulting in a more targeted approach which would allow the drug dosage to be halved.

And flexicates solve other problems encountered by helicates, as they are easier to optimise for specific purposes, are better absorbed by the body and are also easier to mass-produce synthetically.

Professor Scott said: "Drugs often have this property of handedness - their molecules can exist in both right and left handed versions but the body prefers to use only one of them."

"For this reason, drug companies have to go to the trouble of making many traditional molecules as one hand only.

"What we have done is solve the 'handedness' problem for this new type of drug molecule.

"By getting the correct hand we can halve the drug dose, which has the benefits of minimising side effects and reducing waste.

"For patients, it's safer to swallow half the amount of a drug.

"Our work means that we can now make whichever hand of the corkscrew we want, depending on the job we require it to do."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Blackaby
a.blackaby@warwick.ac.uk
44-247-657-5910
University of Warwick
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. CU-Boulder led study of smoking twins points to growing influence of genetic factors
2. Life challenges prevent those with lupus from keeping doctors appointments
3. Hard times during adolescence point to health problems later in life
4. Could Airway Abnormality Point to Autism?
5. Calorie count plus points based on added sugars, sodium, and saturated and trans fats recommended as new front-of-package nutrition labeling system
6. 3 factors could point to your fate after surgery
7. Evidence points to potential roles for cognitive rehabilitation therapy in treating traumatic brain injury, but further research needed
8. Gauging General Health as Poor May Point to Dementia Risk
9. Experts Point Out Signs of Dangerous Heart Rhythm
10. Novel research set to pinpoint risk of heart attacks and strokes
11. Key signal that prompts production of insulin-producing beta cells points way toward diabetes cure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... TherapySites, the leading website and online ... Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to continue to extend their ... benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited about this new partnership, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a holistic treatment center ... Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is located. This annual ... the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its residents often refer ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the ... AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in ... topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar ... M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal ... complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events ... turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. ... tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 26, 2016 ... care operating models within the health care industry is ... financial efficiency , Deloitte offers a suite of ... business issues impacting efficient cost optimization: labor resource analysis, ... These services facilitate better outcomes and better economics ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay Area ... Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness ... and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, ... today announced the five finalists of Lyme ... disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... BEIJING , June 24, 2016 Dehaier ... or the "Company"), which develops, markets and sells medical ... China , signed a strategic cooperation agreement with ... as "Hongyuan Supply Chain") on June 20, 2016, to ... Under the strategic cooperation agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: