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:4/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science ... their cognitive health, and share results with their physicians. Members and guests can sign ... website. , BrainCheck founder, Dr. David Eagleman, formerly at Baylor College of Medicine and ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... telehealth industry, announces the company’s VideoMedicine mobile platform has launched Quick Care, a ... hours a day, Quick Care provides patients with the option to request and ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... MAP Health Management announced today ... people with addiction who are served by MAP’s patient engagement ecosystem. Lief Therapeutics ... monitors heart and breath rates to identify anxiety levels and can provide biofeedback ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... Come to PAINWeekEnd (PWE) Tampa on May 20 ... an educational and exciting 2-day program. , An attendee at a recent PAINWeekEnd ... approach patients” about the course entitled Ain't Misbehavin': Decreasing and Managing Pain Patient Aberrant ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... ... “Reflections of God’s Work”: an enlightening collection of life lessons leading each ... published author, Jerri Broglin, a survivor of great loss who gained insight on how ... for those searching for answers, as we are finding the answers that are so ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017  AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a ... (n=145/146) of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected ... 6 and compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) achieved sustained ... ) with its investigational, pan-genotypic regimen of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir ... seen following 12 weeks of G/P treatment without ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... By Service (Manufacturing, Research), By Country, (Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, ... to their offering. ... The Latin American pharmaceutical contract manufacturing services market is anticipated ... drug registration cost in Latin American countries and continuous economic ...
(Date:4/19/2017)...  IRIDEX Corporation (Nasdaq: IRIX ) today ... first quarter 2017 after the close of trading on ... host a corresponding conference call beginning at 2:30 p.m. ... in listening to the conference call may do so ... 326-3030 for international callers, using conference ID: 92158987.  A ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: