Researchers discover a new antibacterial lead
Now, a promising discovery by researchers at McMaster University, has revealed an ideal starting point for developing new interventions for resistant infections.
Eric Brown, professor and director of the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, and a team of researchers at the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Diseases Research have identified a new chemical compound that targets drug-resistant bacteria in a different way of existing antibiotics. The discovery could lead to new treatments to overcome resistance to antibiotics in certain kinds of microorganisms.
The findings were published Sept. 27 in the science research journal Nature Chemical Biology.
“Everyone reads the headlines about the drug-resistant insects, is a big problem,” said Brown, who holds the Canada Research Chair in antimicrobial research. “Really what we’re trying to make is whether or not there are new ways of tackling this problem.”
The research team, which included the biochemical and chemical McMaster University, used high-throughput screening to discover a new class of chemistry. The approach allows scientists to search for small molecules that kill bacteria and to examine the molecular mechanisms and pathways that operate.
Antibiotics kill existing bacteria by blocking the production of cell wall, DNA or protein. The McMaster discovered new compounds MAC13243, goes to block a specific step in the development of the bacteria cell surface, which until now has been recognized as a target for antibiotics.
“We are very excited about finding a new probe of a relatively unknown bacterial physiology,” said Brown. “It’sa new way of thinking about the problem. Who knows, this chemical may be a drug? Anything is possible. But at least we have advanced in the field and created some tools that people can use right now to try to better understand this way “.