For the first time revealed the structure of the protein responsible for antibiotic resistance

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2018-10-04 18:45:06

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For the first time revealed the structure of the protein responsible for antibiotic resistance


The formation of bacterial resistance to antibiotics is studied well enough and preparations for combating harmful microorganisms still do not allow them to take over from us. At the same time remained in the mechanisms of development of resistance and their "blind spots". But recently a group of German scientists has made quite an important discovery: they have identified a previously unknown structure of a protein, which is responsible for bacterial resistance to antibiotics. And helped them the world's largest free electron laser XFEL.

First, a little explain about what is XFEL (or the European X-ray Free Electron Laser). It began to develop in 2002, and the operation launched in 2017. The entire length of the complex is 3.4 km and it is located at a depth of 6 to 38 meters underground. The design starts at the laboratory DESY in Hamburg and ends on the outskirts of Sochi. All this massive construction works as follows: the accelerating bunches of electrons enter in a special device with a periodic magnetic field. It allows the electrons to emit particles in the range from teragertsovogo to x-ray radiation, and thus it is possible to study structures that are to see other ways will not work.

At the time of radiation and particles on the protein crystal is placed in water, diffraction transmits data on the structure of the contained protein

The control was the enzyme lysozyme, whose structure is obtained with XFEL were completely identical to the one obtained with the "traditional" way. Further, the experts took a sample of the enzyme of the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae. The enzyme is called CTX-M-14 and belongs to the group of beta-lactamase. The result has been highlighted previously unknown enzyme which is plays a key role in the formation of bacterial resistance. Locking, Klebsiella can be done vulnerable to antibacterial drugs. Now scientists are searching for a way to deactivate the protein and figuring out how this technology can be used to identify weaknesses of other bacteria.

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