SETTING SIGHTS ON NEW ANTIBIOTICS
Bacterial infections once thought to be on the verge of eradication have been making a comeback. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan used the 08ID-1 beamline to study UGM, an enzyme crucial for making a particular "super-antigen", lipopolysaccharide.
Aug. 24, 2010
The need for novel antibiotics is increasingly pressing in the face of the rising threat of bacteria resistant to existing drugs. One approach for such antibiotics is to target the building blocks of bacterial cell walls. One such component is lipopolysaccharide, formed from sugars that are in turn produced using the enzyme UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM). Researchers from the University of Saskatchewan isolated UGM in a form bound to sugars and obtained its crystal structure. This information may be used to design drugs that inhibit the enzyme's activity and thus block the formation of bacterial cell walls.J. Mol. Biol. 394 (5), 864-877