Helping robots to build new antibiotics

Phys.org | July 19, 2019

A team from The University of Manchester have engineered a common gut bacterium to produce a new class of antibiotics by using robotics. These antibiotics, known as class II polyketides, are also naturally produced by soil bacteria and have antimicrobial properties which are vital in the modern pharmaceutical industry to combat infectious diseases and cancer. he naturally produced Escherichia colibacteria are difficult to work with as they grow in dense clumps that are incompatible with the automated robotic systems used for modern biotechnology research. By transferring the production machinery from the soil bacteria into E. coli, the Manchester team is now making this class of antibiotics accessible for much more rapid exploration.

Spotlight

One of the criteria for a compound to be considered druggable is the ability to cause or block a biological activity without toxic effects in an in vitro setting using primary human cells. As a read-out for compound-induced activity or toxicity, it is common to determine cell proliferation or cell death.  Proliferation and cytotoxicity can be by looking at ATP levels in the cell. See how ATPlite and ATPlite 1step serve as robust, rapid, high-throughput luminescence assays to quantitatively evaluate proliferation and cytotoxicity in cultured human primary cells.

Spotlight

One of the criteria for a compound to be considered druggable is the ability to cause or block a biological activity without toxic effects in an in vitro setting using primary human cells. As a read-out for compound-induced activity or toxicity, it is common to determine cell proliferation or cell death.  Proliferation and cytotoxicity can be by looking at ATP levels in the cell. See how ATPlite and ATPlite 1step serve as robust, rapid, high-throughput luminescence assays to quantitatively evaluate proliferation and cytotoxicity in cultured human primary cells.

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