New approach for antibiotic development

Pharmacy: Cover story in JACS Au

The opportunistic bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa is dangerous due to its resistance to multiple antibiotics. A research team from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Jülich Research Center (Forschungszentrum Jülich – FZJ) has now found a mechanism that makes it possible to weaken the virulence of the pathogen. Based on this knowledge, a new approach for antibiotics can be developed, as the authors explain in the scientific journal JACS Au. The editors of the journal have dedicated a cover story to this discovery.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

The Hepatitis E Virus – New Insights into Targeted Treatment and Diagnosis

The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the most common cause of acute viral liver inflammation (viral hepatitis). Every year, there are about 15 to 110 million active cases worldwide, which result in about 70,000 deaths. There are no vaccines against HEV authorised in Europe. The therapeutics available are not specific, have strong side effects, and can lead to resistance. A research team at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut has identified certain vesicle structures and proteins that could be targets for treatment and contribute to a new understanding of viral genome transmission, also with regard to diagnostics.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

„Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity“ – new status report on climate change and health

More heat-related deaths, new and increasing infectious diseases, increased exposure to allergens, a rise in antibiotic resistance, more lung diseases as a result of increasing air pollution, more skin cancer due to increased UV radiation – these are some of the negative consequences of climate change for public health. A new report, coordinated by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), provides an overview of the health impacts of climate change and ways to counteract them. The publication was coordinated through the project KlimGesundAkt, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

A rapid diagnostic test to detect multiple resistance determinants against the important carbapenem antibiotics

In 2050, the number of people dying as a result of infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria could rise to ten million, according to WHO forecasts. For targeted therapies and to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance, rapid and accurate diagnosis of resistance is essential. A new rapid test developed by DZIF researchers in cooperation with the company Coris BioConcept now makes it possible to detect over 95 percent of carbapenem resistance in patients infected with the widespread pathogenic bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

A guide through the genome of crops

Plants show enormous variety in traits relevant to breeding, such as plant height, yield and resistance to pests. One of the greatest challenges in modern plant research is to identify the differences in genetic information that are responsible for this variation. A research team led by the „Crop Yield“ working group at the Institute for Molecular Physiology at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and the Carnegie Institution of Science at Stanford has now developed a method to identify precisely these special differences in genetic information.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Targeting resistance to a crucial reserve antibiotic

Colistin is an antibiotic of last resort for the treatment of infections caused by extremely multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. The recent emergence and global spread of the mobile colistin resistance gene mcr-1 among many bacterial species in different environments poses a significant public health threat. However, the workings and success of mcr-1 as a resistance factor have not been fully understood. Led by scientists of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), a study recently published in the journal Microbiology Spectrum provides crucial answers on how acquiring mcr-1 benefits bacteria and explores an approach to eliminate mcr-1 and its transmission vectors.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Herbicide resistance caused by pre-existing genetic variation

Blackgrass has become the most economically damaging herbicide-resistant weed in Europe. A team led by researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen and the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart has now found out that these resistances are mostly attributable to genetic variants which predate the use of herbicides. Their results now appear in the journals Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Plant Biotechnology Journal.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

New potential therapeutic approach for HER2-positive breast cancer discovered

Resistance to HER2-targeted therapies can be a problem when treating patients with HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer. Therefore, the identification of new therapies for this patient group is important. Researchers at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environments and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) have already shown that the enzyme EDI3 is associated with changes in the metabolism of cancer cells. Their most recent results reveal that inhibiting EDI3 may be a new therapeutic target in patients with therapy-resistant ER-HER2+ breast cancer.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Personalised antibiotic treatment strategies for tuberculosis patients

Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with an estimated 1.4 million deaths and ten million people infected annually. Resistant and multidrug-resistant (MDR) variants of the tuberculosis pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis pose a major threat to tuberculosis control and global health. Rapid detection of these patient-specific resistance patterns is therefore crucial for targeted treatment and successful control of the transmission of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis bacteria—a goal that DZIF scientists have now taken a major step towards.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

How a harmful fungus renders its host plant defenseless

The fungus Ustilago maydis attacks corn and can cause significant damage to its host. To do this, it first ensures that the plant offers little resistance to the infection. The surgical precision it applies is shown by a new study from the University of Bonn, which has now been published in the journal New Phytologist. The Gregor Mendel Institute in Vienna and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Gatersleben were also involved in the work.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Anti-cancer dream cream shrinks oral tumors

Researchers have found that treatment with miR-634 reduces the resistance of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells to cisplatin, resulting in increased tumor cell killing. An ointment containing miR-634 had a similar effect in mice, suggesting that this simple topical treatment could be used to improve the prognosis of patients with advanced oral cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Anti-cancer dream cream shrinks oral tumors

Researchers have found that treatment with miR-634 reduces the resistance of oral squamous cell carcinoma cells to cisplatin, resulting in increased tumor cell killing. An ointment containing miR-634 had a similar effect in mice, suggesting that this simple topical treatment could be used to improve the prognosis of patients with advanced oral cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Malaria drug could combat chemotherapy-resistant head and neck cancers, research suggests

A new study suggests that the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine inhibits pathways that drive resistance to the chemotherapy agent cisplatin in head and neck cancers and restores tumor-killing effects of cisplatin in animal models.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Large bacterial populations develop stronger resistance to antibiotics

In large bacterial populations, mutants that evolve relatively late resist antibiotic treatment more effectively, while smaller populations rely on less effective mutations that appear at an earlier point in time / publication in ‘Nature Ecology & Evolution’

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Why multiple myeloma returns

Multiple myeloma, the most common type of bone marrow cancer in Germany, almost always returns, even after initial treatment success. In the majority of cases, the reasons behind this treatment resistance (e.g., genetic mutations) and the subsequent return of the disease, remain unknown. According to new research, it is the increased production of a specific protein which diminishes the cancer’s sensitivity to treatment.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Scientists decode chemical defense against plant sap-sucking leafhoppers

In a new study published in the journal Science, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology describe a newly discovered mechanism that protects a wild tobacco species from plant sap-sucking leafhoppers. By combining different genetic screening methods with the study of chemical changes in tobacco leaves, they identified a previously unknown defense substance important for the tobacco’s resistance to leafhoppers and characterized the genes for its biosynthesis

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Novel therapeutic target in multiple myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow, with a life expectancy of less than 5 years post-diagnosis. Proteasome inhibitors, the therapeutic backbone of current treatments, are very effective in treating newly diagnosed cancers but resistance or intolerance to these molecules inevitably develop, leading to relapses. While studying a neglected tropical disease , Buruli ulcer, researchers discovered a novel therapeutic target for multiple myeloma that could allow to bypass this resistance.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Feeling the heat: Steroid hormones contribute to the heat stress resistance of plants

Plants, like other organisms, can be severely affected by heat stress. To increase their chances of survival, they activate the heat shock response, a molecular pathway also employed by human and animal cells for stress protection. Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now discovered that plant steroid hormones can promote this response in plants.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Improving drug options for colorectal cancer patients

Patients with colorectal cancer were among the first to receive targeted therapies. These drugs aim to block the cancer-causing proteins that trigger out-of-control cell growth while sparing healthy tissues. But some patients are not eligible for these treatments because they have cancer-promoting mutations that are believed to cause resistance to these drugs. Now, physician-scientists have used computer modeling and cell studies to discover that more patients may be helped by a common class of targeted therapies than previously thought.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Strategy to overcome tumors’ resistance to immunotherapy generates promising clinical trial results

Immune checkpoint inhibitors strengthen the immune response against cancer cells, but the medications are ineffective against certain tumors. Results from a new clinical trial indicate that adding radiation may overcome this resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

New strategy against treatment-resistant prostate cancer identified

A new study has identified an RNA molecule that suppresses prostate tumors. The scientists found that prostate cancers develop ways to shut down this RNA molecule to allow themselves to grow. According to the new research — conducted in mice implanted with human prostate tumor samples — restoring this so-called long noncoding RNA could be a new strategy to treat prostate cancer that has developed resistance to hormonal therapies.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

‘Gut bugs’ can drive prostate cancer growth and treatment resistance

Common gut bacteria can become ‚hormone factories‘ – fuelling prostate cancer and making it resistant to treatment, a new study shows. Scientists revealed how gut bacteria contribute to the progression of advanced prostate cancers and their resistance to hormone therapy — by providing an alternative source of growth-promoting androgens, or male hormones. The findings, once further validated in the clinic, could provide new opportunities for the treatment of prostate cancer through manipulation of the microbiome.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

An estrogen receptor that promotes cancer also causes drug resistance

Cancer cells proliferate despite a myriad of stresses — from oxygen deprivation to chemotherapy — that would kill any ordinary cell. Now, researchers have gained insight into how they may be doing this through the downstream activity of a powerful estrogen receptor. The discovery offers clues to overcoming resistance to therapies like tamoxifen that are used in many types of breast cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Novel assay finds new mechanism underlying red blood cell aging

A multifaceted microfluidic in vitro assay is helping to identify the role of hypoxia on red blood cell aging via the biomechanical pathways. It holds promise for investigating hypoxic effects on the metastatic potential and relevant drug resistance of cancer cells. It also can be a useful tool to predict the mechanical performance of natural and artificial red blood cells for transfusion purposes and to further extend to red blood cells in other blood diseases and other cell types.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

How resistant germs transport toxins at molecular level

Chemistry: publication in Nature Communications

In order to counter the increasing threat posed by multi-drug resistant germs, we need to understand how their resistance mechanisms work. Transport proteins have an important role to play in this process. In an article published in the journal Nature Communications, a German/UK research team led by Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has now described the three-dimensional structure of transport protein Pdr5, found also in a similar form in pathogenic fungi. The results could help develop mechanisms to combat dangerous pathogens.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft