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UNC scientists unveil a superbug's secret to antibiotic resistance
Date:1/30/2013

t and transfer to a nearby bacterium, making them resistant to vancomycin.

Moreover, Redinbo was able to capture a snapshot of the enzyme bound to the plasmid. "As a structural biologist, it's all about the pictures for me," said Redinbo. "And it was this picture that confirmed the precise location on which NES works."

With this information, Redinbo knew the groove on the DNA that the enzyme recognize and could design a small synthetic molecule that would sit on this groove and block NES. Teaming up with colleagues at the California Institute of Technology, Redinbo did just that. The molecule prevented NES from nicking the DNA, which could prevent the resistance genes from spreading.

According to Redinbo and colleagues, this small synthetic molecule could help guide future research aimed at developing effective therapies for strains of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus.

"This is really exciting for us," said Redinbo, who is also a professor at UNC's School of Medicine and a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. "It opens the door for potentially stopping the spread of antibiotic resistanceand that's exactly what we need in this post-antibiotic era."

The work was published this week in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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Contact: Thania Benios
thania_benios@unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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