Widely prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics such as amoxicillin can kill off many types of bacteria indiscriminately, including harmless strains. But that can lead to resistance that bugs can pass on to other pathogenic bacteria. Compounds that target specific bacterial infections instead could help combat the problem of antibiotics resistance.
In a new study published in Nature, a team led by scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, described the key structural mechanism of action for a class of naturally occurring bacteria-killing proteins called R-type pyocins. They believe their findings could aid in the development of more precise antibacterial agents.