One of the most important tasks of modern medicine inthe fight against bacterial infections is the creation of drugs that can counteract the growth of pathogens with drug resistance to antibiotics. The new method, developed by Russian scientists from the Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics, is based on the use of antibacterial peptides capable of filling the bacterial cell with toxic protein deposits.
The standard mechanism of action of an antibioticis based on the effect of the drug on the bacterial membrane. If the membrane permeability is violated, the bacteria die. However, as a result of mutations, bacteria become resistant to old antibiotics, and new drugs have to be developed.
Methodology proposed by Russian scientistsuses antimicrobial peptides consisting of a small amount of amino acids. Such drugs can be synthesized in the laboratory or found in the environment, for example, in meat flies, literally "swimming" in deadly bacteria. The proposed peptides consist of two components: the first helps the molecule to penetrate into the bacterial cell, and the second creates amyloid deposits in the bacteria, which are, in fact, a protein precipitate of sticky protein molecules and peptides. As a result, toxic protein deposits cause the bacteria to die.
Scientists have tested antibacterial peptides,consisting of proteins that make up the ribosomes responsible for protein synthesis. The test was carried out on a strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa resistant to most standard antibiotics. The effectiveness of the new technique turned out to be on a par with the effect of gentamicin, which is able to resist Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. It was also found that the created peptides have no effect on animal cells, and the scientists hope that further trials, including clinical ones, will prove the high efficiency and safety of the technique in the fight against bacterial diseases.