Streptomycin cell membrane finding could aid antibiotic development

New study confirms streptomycin binds to receptor, which could be new target for antibiotics.

Dihydrostreptomycin (green) going through the MscL channel pore in 3 panels

Streptomycin is one of the oldest antibiotics, but it is still not known how this relatively large drug enters bacterial cells. 

A team of researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, previously found that increased expression of a channel found in bacterial cell membranes, known as MscL, can enhance the potency of dihydrostreptomycin. 

In a new study, published in PLoS Biology (online, 9 June 2016)[1]
, members of the same team used a combination of genetic, molecular-dynamic and computational approaches to explore whether dihydrostreptomycin binds to MscL. They showed that the antibiotic does bind to the receptor, resulting in a conformational change that allows it to enter the cell. 

The researchers suggest their findings could be used in the development of new antibiotics targeting the same channel.


[1] Wray R, Iscla I, Gao Y et al. Dihydrostreptomycin directly binds to, modulates, and passes through the MscL channel pore. PLoS Biology 2016;14:e1002473. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002473

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Streptomycin cell membrane finding could aid antibiotic development;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201319

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