New mechanism points the way to breaking ribosome antibiotic resistance

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New mechanism points the way to breaking ribosome antibiotic resistance
28 September 2017
 

University of Groningen scientists discovered how characeteristics of protein factories of the cell can lead to antbiotic resistance. The results are published on 28 September in Nature Communications.

Antibiotics are the most common medication used to treat microbial infections. Many antibiotics target intracellular bacterial ribosomes - cellular factories that synthesize proteins - which are essential for bacterial survival and proliferation. When bacteria have an excess of protein synthesis activity they stall the ribosomes in an inactive dimeric complex (i.e. two copies of ribosomes interact with each other). This so-called hibernating ribosome complex is more resistant to antibiotics.

This hibernation mechanism is in a stark contrast with previous studies done in another microorganism, Escherichia coli. However based on a phylogenetic analysis of the amino acid sequence of HPFlong, the researchers conclude that the mechanism they propose is more widely spread, since protein HPFlong is present in nearly all known bacteria. This study provides the necessary structural basis to design new generations of antibiotics targeting hibernating ribosomes.

Reference: Franken et al: A general mechanism of ribosome dimerization revealed by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy. Nature Communications, 28 September 2017

Period28-Sep-2017

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  • TitleNew mechanism points the way to breaking ribosome antibiotic resistance
    Country/TerritoryNetherlands
    Date28/09/2017
    DescriptionUniversity of Groningen scientists discovered how characeteristics of protein factories of the cell can lead to antbiotic resistance. The results are published on 28 September in Nature Communications.
    URLwww.rug.nl/sciencelinx/nieuws/2017/09/20170928_ribosoom?lang=en
    PersonsAlbert Guskov