Development of antibiotics has taken a natural and organic turn with the advent of biosynthesis process. In one such instance, North Carolina State University researchers have reportedly come up with a way to enhance the molecular assembly line which develops antibiotics through engineered biosynthesis.
According to official reports, the novel study could now enable scientists to revamp existing antibiotics as well as develop new and better drug candidates much effectively and quickly. Moreover, the study highlighted that the bacteria can harness biosynthesis to design molecules that are otherwise difficult to make artificially.
In fact, as per studies put forth by researchers, it was suggested that erythromycin and acyltransferase (AT) are crucial for realizing the biosynthesis process.
How were the results obtained? The team made use of molecular dynamic simulations to inspect AT residues and identified 10 residues that affect extender unit selection. Researchers then performed mass spectrometry and in-vitro on AT enzymes that had their residues altered in order to confirm that their activity has also changed accordingly.
Reports suggest that manipulating residues allows for much greater accuracy and precision in re-programming the biosynthetic assembly line.
Edward Kalkreuter, one of the lead authors of a paper describing the research and a former graduate student at NC State University cited that the team has already been using bacteria to make a number of drugs. However now, they are looking forward to making alterations to these compounds with an addition of erythromycin.
Edward mentioned that designing molecules with similar activity but enhanced efficiency against the resistance stands out to be the general goal of the study for the team.
Meanwhile, co-author of the research, Professor Gavin Williams announced that identifying the residues that influence extender unit selection emerges out to be one of the noble ways of creating molecules with activity that the team has been aspiring for over a while.
Mr. Williams added that using computational simulations to detect the type of residue to be used and replace is a vital tool for researchers who have been planning to make use of bacteria to biosynthesize drugs.