Wednesday, 23 October 2013

New class of antibiotics being considered

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have presented a new principle for fighting bacterial infections, in the medical journal FASEB. The new antibiotic mechanism is based on selectively blocking the thioredoxin system in the cells, which is crucial to the growth of certain bacteria. Scientists hope to be able to treat such conditions as stomach ulcers, TB and MRSA.

The thioredoxin system is present in all cells and is central to the ability to make new DNA (genetic material). It is also important in protecting the cell from a process known as oxidative stress, which arises when excess oxygen radicals and other oxidizing agents are formed.

The study now being published describes how the scientists have used a drug candidate known as ebselen. Ebselen inhibits, among other things, thioredoxin reductase in bacteria.

For further details, refer to the following paper:

J. Lu, A. Vlamis-Gardikas, K. Kandasamy, R. Zhao, T. N. Gustafsson, L. Engstrand, S. Hoffner, L. Engman, A. Holmgren. Inhibition of bacterial thioredoxin reductase: an antibiotic mechanism targeting bacteria lacking glutathione. The FASEB Journal, 2012

Posted by Tim Sandle