Pinpointing a weakness in bacteria’s protective barrier

Diamond’s microfocus MX beamline I24

An international team of scientists have identified how gram-negative bacteria build a protective barrier against antibiotics[1]

Their paper, published in Nature reports the first crystal structure of a unique integral membrane lipopolysaccharide translocator. “We have identified the path and gate used by the bacteria to transport the barrier building blocks to the outer surface. Importantly, we have identified that the bacteria would die if the gate is locked,” says lead researcher Changjiang Dong of the University of East Anglia.

Dong adds that his group is developing drug candidates based on the findings and hopes a new therapy can be brought to market in the next couple of years.




[1] Haohao D et al. Structural basis for outer membrane lipopolysaccharide insertion. Nature2014: doi:10.1038/nature13464.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 5 July 2014, Vol 293, No 7817;293(7817):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20065628