Structural elucidation of glycosyltransferases: a target for novel antibiotics

Antibiotics have played a central role in treating bacterial infections ever since the introduction of penicillin. But these drugs struggle to maintain their effectiveness over time as bacteria develop resistance that eventually renders the medication obsolete. Consequently, there is a pressing need to develop new antibiotics. Dr. Andrew Lovering is studying the structure of bacterial proteins. Dr. Lovering aims to identify the exact three-dimensional nature of a group of proteins called glycosyltransferases, which are essential to bacterial shape and form. The research could be the first step toward engineering drugs that block the usual functions of these proteins and fight bacterial infections. In earlier research, Dr. Lovering identified the 3-D structure of an enzyme proposed for use in an anti-cancer therapy. This work contributed to the design of drugs to treat leukemia.