Demand for new anti-infective drugs is increasing as the problem of drug resistance grows. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 70% of US hospital acquired infections are resistant to at least one of the antibiotics most commonly used to treat them.
The DEAD box proteins are a family of proteins found in a wide variety of organisms, from bacteria to humans. The DbpA DEAD box protein (characterised by our collaborators at the University of Dundee) is unique in that it hydrolyses ATP only in the presence of bacterial ribosomal RNA. The protein plays a critical role in ribosome biogenesis, and interference with its function is likely to be lethal to the micro-organism. Since DbpA interacts specifically with bacterial, but not mammalian ribosomal RNA, it provides a target for antimicrobial substances that should be selectively toxic to bacteria, and a mechanism of action different from the currently used classes of antibiotic.
Current work at Strathclyde aims to aims to discover small molecular weight inhibitors of Escherichia coli (E. coli) DbpA. This is based on preliminary screening of the highly diverse Strathclyde natural products library using an in vitro assay based on ATP hydrolysis by cloned DbpA.
· Discovery of novel antibiotics against serious gram negative organisms
· Novel mechanism of action
· Potential to solve the problem of antibacterial resistance
Markets and Application
The project applies to the anti-infectives market. Novel antibiotics that can overcome drug resistance are greatly needed. The global antibiotics market is expected to reach $40.3 billion by 2015.
Contact is welcomed from parties interested in accelerating the development of this project.