New research antibiotic drugs targets patient cells than pathogens

New antibiotic drug targets on patient cell rather than pathogen

5:28 AM, 13th January 2014
antibiotic drugs targets patient cells than pathogens
To fight harmful bacteria in a “post-antibiotic era,” scientists are developing a new strategy for shutting down infections.

WASHINGTON DC, US: A new research on drug-resistant bacteria focuses on fighting infection that targets a patient’s cells rather than those of the invading pathogens. The technique interferes with the way that the pathogens take over a patient’s cells to cause infection. This approach, published in the journal ACS Chemical Biology, could help address the world’s growing problem of antibiotic-resistant “super bugs.”

Researcher Huib Ovaa, Jacques Neefjes and colleagues explained that the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses a major public health threat. Health organizations have warned that unless alternatives to classic antibiotics are developed, even infections from minor scrapes could become deadly. Pharmaceutical companies are working on only a few new antibiotics, and they all take the same approach – attack the bacteria. But resistance is always a possibility. To get around this, researchers are now looking more closely at how bacteria co-opt the cells they invade for survival. These researchers previously reported that at least one set of host cell proteins, called kinases, can control bacterial growth. Ovaa and Neefjes’ team decided to look at another class of proteins, called phosphatases, that act in the opposite way from kinases to see if inhibiting them would have a similar effect.

In lab tests, they identified phosphatases in human cells that are involved in bacterial survival. They also identified small molecules, or potential drugs, that could stop those phosphatases from working. Those molecules, which could form a new class of antibiotics, successfully stopped Salmonella, their test bacteria, from growing. Because this approach jams the host cell machinery rather than directly attacking the bacteria, the chances of bacteria developing resistance could be very low and phosphatases, like kinases, could be general targets for drug development, said the researchers.

 

© American Chemical Society News 

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