Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Biochemistry have discovered a new way of combatting E. coli bacteria. Their discovery could rewrite almost 50 years of thinking.
Previously, doctors were only able to use a cellular pump to move antibiotics out of E. coli bacteria. UW-Madison biochemistry professor Katherine Henzler-Wildman recently discovered that a transporter can also move drugs and protons across the membrane and into E. coli cells, allowing doctors to pump drugs in to kill the bacteria.
According to the researchers, this minor detail has big implications. Drug entry has always been a problem for doctors and scientists, and this discovery could allow drugs to be pumped directly into the cell.
“We started with a very basic science question of ‘How do these transporters work?’ and have stumbled upon this really translational direction,” she says. “People have been trying to target these kinds of pumps to stop antibiotic resistance to make antibiotics that we already have effective again. This suggests that you might be able to not just stop it, but actually use these pumps to drive drugs into the cell as a new drug entry mechanism.”
For more information about this exciting discovery and what it could mean for the future of E. coli bacteria, read more here.More From: University of Wisconsin-Madison
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