According tomedia reports, for bacteria, the first line of defense is the cell wall, it will be antibiotics and other toxins out of the door. Now, researchers have discovered key mechanisms that bacteria use to build cell walls, which could provide a new target for ongoing new drug development. The cell walls of bacteria are a bit like exoskeletons, protecting them from foreign intrusion by giving them shape and structure.
Because this is critical to the survival of organisms, cell walls have been an attractive target for drug development since the initial discovery of the antibiotic penicillin.
Now, researchers from the University of Leeds have examined how bacteria build their cell walls, and they have discovered a new vulnerability in the armor that could be exploited. The team focused on a protein called SurA, which follows other proteins outwards from the center of the cell and then helps form cell walls.
The team used a range of advanced analytical techniques, including chemical crosslinking, mass spectrometry, and simulation. The study was conducted in E. coli, but the team says the same process may occur in many other Gram-negative bacteria.
Antonio Calabrese, lead researcher on the study, said it was the first time they had seen the mechanism surA helps deliver proteins to extracellular molds, “in fact, by placing them in a cradle to ensure their safe passage.” Without SurA, the pipeline would break and the Great Wall would not be built properly. “
Understanding how this important protein works may be the first step in finding a way to destroy it. If SurA is inhibited, the team says, bacteria will have a hard time building walls. This may directly kill them, making them more vulnerable to attack son by existing drugs or the impossibility of growing and spreading.
“This is an exciting discovery for us in the search for weaknesses in bacterial libraries,” said Sheena Radford, one of the study’s authors. Our goal is to stop the growth of bacteria and produce much-needed new antibiotics. Although it’s still in its early stages, we already know how SurA works and how it binds to protein customers. The next step will be to develop molecules that can interrupt the process and which will be used to eliminate pathogenic bacteria. “