The method led them to malacidin A and B, cyclic peptides with lipid tails. The researchers showed that the malacidins work differently from daptomycin and friulimicin, which kill bacteria by disrupting cell membranes and inhibiting cell wall biosynthesis, respectively. But the scientists have yet to uncover the malacidins’ detailed mechanism of action. The malacidins killed multidrug-resistant Gram-positive bacteria and cleared up a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection on the skin of rats. The targeted bacteria did not seem to develop resistance to the malacidins, and the compounds weren’t toxic to mammalian cells. “It will take many years to develop malacidins into new antibiotics, even in the best scenario, says Huimin Zhao of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
by Stu Borman |
February 15, 2018