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Researchers find new chemical key that could unlock hundreds of new antibiotics
Date:10/29/2008

mistry were able to combine their new insight into these compounds with the relatively new full genetic sequences now available of some Streptomyces bacteria. They became convinced that the AHFCA group of compounds could play a role in stimulating the production of known and novel antibiotics. When they added AHFCAs to Streptomyces coelicolor W81 they were proved correct as it stimulated the production of methylenomycin antibiotics.

While the methylenomycins were already known as antibiotics, the researchers think it likely that novel pathways for antibiotic production are also under the control of AHFCAs. The AHFCAs should be relatively easy to make in significant quantity in a lab and could be used as a new tool for discovery of antibiotics. The researchers are now seeking funding to explore the AHFCAs and develop a novel approach for drug discovery. Introducing a variety of AHFCAs to various Streptomyces bacteria could activate hundreds of pathways for antibiotic production.

The lead researcher on the paper Dr Christophe Corre, from the University of Warwick's Department of Chemistry said:

"Early results also suggest that this approach could switch on novel antibiotic production pathways in up to 50% of Streptomyces bacteria. With thousands of known members of the Streptomyces family that could mean that AHFCAs could unlock hundreds of new antibiotics to replenish our dwindling arsenal of effective antibiotic drugs."


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Contact: Professor Greg Challis
G.L.Challis@warwick.ac.uk
44-024-765-74024
University of Warwick
Source:Eurekalert

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