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An_Antibiotic_Resistance_Fighter.Final2 - protect the all...

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An Antibiotic Resistance Fighter A compound that tweaks a pivotal protein may quell development of antibiotic resistance The article written by Gary Stix speaks about molecular evolution and how in certain cases it can have devastating effects when the change combats a medical marvel: antibiotics. Researchers are focusing their experiments on fluoroquinolones where resistance can only occur through chromosomal mutation. The results from this experiment may provide the answer in order to “overcome bacterial resistance to antibiotics”. Mutations are one of the biologically recognized modes of evolution and, though they are rare and usually result in cell or organism death, they can be positive with respect to the mutated-. Researchers discovered in the 1970’s a process known as the SOS response that uses mutation as a way to protect the functionality of the cell at all costs. When bacteria are put under extreme stress, through a series of chemical reactions and messages, they switch on genes that code for proteins that cause the mutations that
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Unformatted text preview: protect the all important life of the cell. The article gives the example of the bacteria E.coli. which responds to the action of an antibiotic called Cipro by mutating and forming resistance. E.coli.’s protein gyrase, which performs DNA replication, is targeted by Cipro - under this stress the SOS response is initiated. The SOS response was initiated when Cipro caused a repressor protein called LexA to be cleaved and the SOS response genes that cause “hypermutation” were no longer repressed. The experiment is conducted in an effort to protect the cleavage of this repressor protein called LexA. If this said pharmaceutical was to be taken with the antibiotic then the LexA would not be cleaved as a result of the antibiotic and no resistance would be formed – hence the death of the bacterium. Stix, Gary. "An Antibiotic Resistance Fighter". Scientific American April 2006: 80-84....
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