RNR 'switch' offers hope in battling antibiotic resistant bacteria

phys.org | 10/18/2018 | Staff
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New research from Cornell University offers a new pathway for targeting pathogens in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria.

As antibiotic resistance rises, the search for new antibiotic strategies has become imperative. Researchers used the Cornell High Energy Synchotron Source (CHESS) to reveal an unexpected mechanism of activation and inactivation in the protein ribonucleotide reductase (RNR).

Findings - Allostery - Ribonucleotide - Reductase - Nature

The findings were published in "Convergent Allostery in Ribonucleotide Reductase" in Nature Communications.

Understanding the "switch" that can turn RNR off provides a possible means to shut off the reproduction of harmful bacteria.

RNRs - Ribonucleotides - Building - Blocks - RNA

RNRs take ribonucleotides, the building blocks of RNA, and convert them to deoxyribonucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. In all organisms, the regulation of RNRs involves complex mechanisms. Without these mechanisms, DNA replication becomes error-prone, and dangerous mutations could occur.

"Without the RNR enzyme, DNA-based life as we know it could not exist," said first author William Thomas, a graduate student in chemistry...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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