Giving Compass’ Take:
• According to this article, new research is showing that an antibiotic agent, obafluorin, made from a fluorescent strain of soil bacteria might offer a powerful antidote to antibiotic resistance.
• How can funders help to accelerate work to prevent the devastating effects of antibiotic resistance?
Understanding how antibiotic scaffolds construct in nature can help prospect for new classes of antibiotics through DNA sequencing and genome mining. Scientists used this knowledge to help solve the X-ray crystal structure of the enzyme that makes obafluorin.
A multi-part enzyme called a nonribosomal peptide synthetase produces the highly reactive beta-lactone ring that is responsible for obafluorin’s antimicrobial activity, researchers say.
“Obafluorin has a novel structure compared to all FDA-approved antibiotics,” says Timothy Wencewicz, assistant professor of chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis. “In the long term, we really need new structural classes of antibiotics that have never been contaminated by clinical resistance from established antibiotic classes.”
Scientists could use these chemicals as next-generation antibiotics for humans, or even to benefit the agriculture sector, Wencewicz notes—as researchers strive to engineer seed treatments and biopesticides to support plant systems capable of making enough food to feed the 9.6 billion people projected to live on this planet by 2050.
Read the full article about new antibiotics by Talia Ogliore at Futurity.
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