Simplified structure eases antibiotic synthesis

New analogues of the potent antibiotic teixobactin could be instrumental in the fight against multi-drug resistant pathogens.

By replacing a rare amino acid in the structure of teixobactin, UK researchers have unlocked the door to cheaper and easier-to-manufacture forms of this potent antibiotic.

(Left) Teixobactin. (Right) General structure of teixobactin analogues with the hydrophilic/charged residues shown in red, hydrophobic residues shown in black and structural differences shown in blue.

Scientists in the US reported their discovery of teixobactin in 2015. It works against multi-drug resistant pathogens, but as it contains a rare and difficult to manufacture amino acid it is hard to make.

Read the full story by Tabitha Watson on Chemistry World.

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