David vs Goliath: Ribosome-targeting antibiotics and bacterial resistance mechanisms

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
students, staff, faculty, alumni, local science community

The QBI Seminar Series is presenting Daniel Wilson, a professor of Biochemistry at the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Hamburg, Germany. Wilson group uses a combination of structural and molecular biology tools to provide insight into the fundamental process of protein synthesis as well as providing a mechanistic basis upon which to develop new and improved antimicrobial agents. Currently, his lab also studies ribosome quality control (RQC) in bacteria and eukaryotes. In bacteria, they were excited to see how protein synthesis and tRNA translocation-like movements can occur on the large subunit independent of the small subunit, mRNA, and the translocase EF-G. In the eukaryotic RQC project, Dr. Wilson’s team has been exploring the connection between the amino acid stress response sensed by GCN1 and ribosome collisions, which implies possible links to general RQC pathways in eukaryotes.

Protein synthesis is a major target within the bacterial cell for antibiotics. Investigations into ribosome-targeting antibiotics have provided much needed functional and structural insight into their mechanism of action. However, the increasing prevalence of multi-drug-resistant bacteria has limited the utility of the group's current arsenal of clinically relevant antibiotics, highlighting the need for the development of new classes. In his presentation, Dr. Wilson will discuss his team's recent structural insights into the mechanism of action of novel ribosome-targeting compounds as well as novel molecular mechanisms of bacterial resistance, with an outlook as to how this information could be used for the development of improved drugs that inhibit bacterial protein synthesis.

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