Four stories of antibacterial breakthroughs
Nature News - 03/07/2018
As quickly as researchers discover antibiotics, bacteria will evolve workarounds. But Kim Lewis, a microbiologist at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, is bullish that his candidate compound will stand up to the threat of resistance.
Many antibiotics bind to proteins inside bacteria. But pumps nestled in the bacterial cell wall can eject unwanted molecules from inside the cell. Lewis’s antibiotic, teixobactin, fights microbes in a different way. It attaches to the outer surface of bacteria to avoid the ejection mechanism. Specifically, teixobactin binds to the molecular building blocks of two biopolymers — peptidoglycan and teichoic acid — that make up the bacterial cell wall. The compound acts to inhibit cell-wall synthesis.