Researchers uncover bacteria's drug defense system2019|01:01
Researchers have discovered how a group of drug-resistant bacteria defend against medicine.Gram-negative bacteria have an additional outer membrane that makes them strong against antibiotics and responsible for serious drug-resistant infections. This outer membrane is made up of sugars, proteins, and lipids.How the sugars and proteins are made inside the cell and then transported to the outer membrane is understood, but how lipids get there was not.Researchers, led by Dr. Tim Knowles at the University of Birmingham, investigated the crystal structure of a protein called MlaC and found a mechanism that seems to open and close a pocket that lipids bind to. According to New Atlas, this controls inner-cell functions that dictate when lipids are sent to the outer membrane. This discovery, researchers believe, could one day lead to new drug design that can stop the outer membrane from forming and better treat infectious diseases.