Aids in the Treatment of Staph and E-Coli Infections, Tuberculosis and Listeriosis
These repressor proteins combat antibiotic drug resistance in disease-causing bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli (e-coli) by interfering with metal ion homeostasis. Certain pathogenic bacteria contain specific proteins in the ArsR/SmtB family that confer antibiotic and heavy-metal resistance, making the bacteria difficult to eradicate from the human body. Researchers at the University of Florida have discovered metal ion sensing transcriptional repressor proteins that interfere with proteins in the ArsR/SmtB family. These proteins, which target ArsR/SmtB regulatory proteins, could halt antibiotic drug resistance and lead to the development of new pharmaceuticals that are safer for patients than available antibiotic cocktails. The demand for new tools to fight “superbugs” is high. Every year, antibiotic-resistant infections kill at least 20,000 Americans and cost the U.S. healthcare system an extra $20 billion.
ApplicationProteins that interfere with pathogenic bacteria’s ability to resist heavy metals and antibiotics, which could lead to the development of new drug therapies and better molecular modeling by pharmaceutical companies
- Targets bacterial proteins without harming patients, creating safer treatment options for dangerous diseases
- Opens the possibility of a new generation of antibiotics that overcome drug resistance, making it possible to effectively treat superbugs, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA)
- Can be used with other bacterial proteins to treat disease, creating a new avenue for drug development