In a previous issue, we discussed early work on Escherichia coli as a proof of principle for understanding how bacterial resistance to antibiotics can emerge. Now, Edward Yu’s team at Iowa State University have taken another step forward in our understanding of this pressing issue by using crystallography to reveal the structure of a protein regulator that controls the expression of the multidrug efflux pump in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
An interdisciplinary study hinging on X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance studies has examined 1000 proteins from more than 40 different human pathogens, including those responsible for plague, anthrax, salmonella, cholera, tuberculosis, leprosy, amoebic dysentery and influenza.
Researchers at the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID) and the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease (SSGCID) marked the 1000-structure milestone in June and suggest that the data collected and interpreted will open up paths to novel pharmaceuticals, possible vaccines and other interventions for what are some of the most lethal organisms humanity must face.
Biomolecular NMR experts in Germany have discovered how the U2AF protein facilitates the process of splicing used by cells to make the correct template for RNA transcription and the subsequent expression of proteins.
More on this in my column on NMR Knowledge Base – The NMR Resource.
- ‘Unnatural’ chemical allows Salk researchers to watch protein action in brain cells – Researchers at the Salk Institute have been able to genetically incorporate "unnatural" amino acids, such as those emitting green fluorescence, into neural stem cells, which then differentiate into brain neurons with the incandescent "tag" intact.
- Loudspeakers in your window – Korean scientists have used graphene sheets to make a transparent and lightweight loudspeaker which, they say, can be attached to windows and computer screens.
- Eight steps to foil antibiotic resistant bacteria – US scientists have synthesised by a new route a key intermediate for the production of synthetic analogues of natural antibiotic tetracyclines that could be used as potential new drugs to combat the growing ranks of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Chemist and writer Robert Slinn gives us his Slinn Pickings from the world of chemistry.