Way to boost drug potency
As bacteria continue to demonstrate powerful resilience to antibiotic treatments - posing a rising public health crisis involving a variety of infections - scientists continue to seek a better understanding of bacterial defences against antibiotics in an effort to develop new treatments.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego have discovered an unexpected mechanism that allows bacteria to survive antibiotics. When under attack by antibiotics, bacteria were found to modulate magnesium ion uptake in order to stabilize their ribosomes - the fundamental molecular machines of life that translate genes into proteins - as a survival technique. The researchers concluded that by manipulating the ability of bacteria to take up magnesium (bacteria use charged magnesium ions in defence against antibiotics), scientists may be able to boost the potency of existing antibiotic drugs rather than having to develop completely new drugs.