JERUSALEM, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers have developed a novel method for screening and detecting new efficient antibiotics, Ben Gurion University (BGU) in southern Israel said Tuesday.
The method, published in the journal Chemical Science, can help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
According to the researchers, the new technology provides an efficient, fast and cost-effective way to identify novel antibiotics that inhibit the ribosome, which is the protein-producing machinery of all living cells.
Inhibition of ribosomal activity in bacterial cells, using antibiotics, results in depletion of essential proteins and finally in cell death.
However, the ribosome is a huge complex containing both RNA molecules and several proteins, so identifying drugs that will inhibit its activity is a challenging task.
The new method designs antibiotics that target a small RNA region in the ribosome, as focusing on this region allows quick and efficient screening and designing of drugs.
The new technology combines empirical screening of small molecular fragments that bind this RNA region using nuclear magnetic resonance, with machine learning algorithms that enable the computational design of novel drugs based on the fragments.
According to the researchers, their workflow design is applicable not only to antibiotics targeting the ribosome RNA but also for other RNA targets, such as RNA viruses responsible for diseases such as hepatitis or HIV, as well as for other conditions such as cancer.