Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dr. Courtney Aldrich on Design of Antibiotics that Target Biotin Metabolism

I attended a seminar taught by Dr. Courtney Aldrich which is based on the design of antibiotic that target biotin metabolism. He is an associate professor in the center for drug design with the University of Minnesota and received his PhD from the University as well. His work is based on the application of antibiotic target on Biotin metabolism with the usage of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is an organism found on those with tuberculosis. Being a post-baccalaureate student and with my knowledge of medicinal chemistry due to my years of research with the National Institute of Health, I was very impressed with his lecture. Another topic that intrigued me was the fact that new antibiotics would be developed via the use of unbiased phenotypic whole-cell screening technique that harbor compounds with antibiotic activity and multi-target inhibitors. Dr. Aldrich work is tailored to biotin metabolism in the treatment of tuberculosis. Biotin is a cofactor involved in carboxylation of enzymes and fatty acid biosynthesis that is important to all bacterial cells due to their cell wall structure. Biotin is vital for the mycobacterial cell envelope because it is compose of 70% lipids by weight. Dr. Aldrich’s research focused on specific enzymes in the biotin pathway with emphasizes on Bio enzyme A, a PLP dependent enzyme that causes the loss of a carbonyl that is replaced by an amine. Majority of anti-bactericidals were discovered using the method of isolating natural products. Moreover, the drug of interest for Dr. Aldrich was Amiclenomycin, a Bio A in activator that inhibits the synthetic mechanism for biotin. The inhibition mechanism is powered by ketolysis that produces reactive species. 

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