Antibiotic resistance ‘could aid’ type 2

By Editor
18th December 2015
Latest news, Research

Antibiotic resistance could help find a cure for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s, according to new research.

Experts from the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology at the University of Leeds say the antibiotic resistance could help prevent amyloid diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, from forming in the first place.

Unlike other diseases, which are linked to a single enzyme or receptor, amyloid diseases are related to numerous proteins that have stuck together, making them difficult to treat.

‘Effective ways’

Professor Sheena Radford, who led the research, said: “Until now, we haven’t had effective ways to identify drugs to combat amyloid formation. Amyloid-prone proteins often don’t have a clearly defined structure, which makes it very difficult to identify areas to target with drugs.

“Also, because amyloid-causing proteins have a tendency to stick together, they can be very hard to study in the lab. This study shows a way of getting around these problems by grafting amyloid-prone sequences into enzymes which break down antibiotics.”

Dr Janet Saunders, a researcher on the study, said: “In our research, an old enemy – anti-bacterial resistance – turns out to be our friend. When we see bacterial growth, we know we have chemicals that are obstructing amyloid formation.”

Professor Radford added: “It is important to stress that an efficient screen is only one step in the journey toward drug discovery. The power of our study is that it provides the first step on this path by showing us the type of molecules we should be looking at to inhibit a particular disease-causing protein.”

The research was funded through a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) industrial CASE partnership with University of Leeds spinout Avacta Group, an AIM-listed company dedicating to providing transformational tools to life scientists.

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