Bacteria have an innate ability to produce a large variety of proteins, which make them remarkably resilient to toxic substances, such as antibiotics, a recent study by two Florida State University biochemists has found.
The study has made an important contribution to science's understanding of a serious problem causing concern worldwide- the growing resistance of some harmful bacteria to the drugs that were intended to kill them.
The new research was done by Assistant Professor Brian G. Miller of FSU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and one of his graduate research assistants, Kevin K. Desai.
In their study, Miller and Desai learned that about 2 percent of all the proteins produced by the model bacterium E. coli can be linked to enabling resistance to a single toxin called bromoacetate.
Their research also has implications in elucidating the function of specific proteins and understanding how bacteria in the environment can survive in the presence of toxic manmade chemicals such as pesticides.
Understanding the mechanisms by which bacteria evade environmental threats has direct relevance for understanding and combating the rise of antibiotic resistance, added Desai and Miller.
The study titled 'Recruitment of Genes and Enzymes Conferring Resistance to the Nonnatural Toxin Bromoacetate' was published this week in the prestigious journal.