Press Esc to close
Friday 24 March 2017
News updated at 2:15 AM IST

Three billion-year-old proteins resurrected

Washington, Feb 28, 2013, (IANS):
Scientists have resurrected two to three billion-year-old proteins from which the enzymes that armour superbugs against antibiotics have descended.

The achievement opens the door to a scientific "replay" of the evolution of antibiotic resistance with an eye to finding new ways to cope with the problem.

Jose M. Sanchez-Ruiz, Valeria A. Risso, from the University of Granada, Spain and Eric A. Gaucher, Georgia Institute of Technology explain that antibiotic resistance existed long before Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic in 1928, the Journal of the American Chemical Society reports.

Genes that contain instructions for making the proteins responsible for antibiotic resistance have been found in 30,000-year-old permafrost sediment and other ancient sites, according to a Granada and Georgia statement.

Their research focused on the so-called beta-lactamases, enzymes responsible for resistance to the family of antibiotics that includes penicillin, which scientists believe originated billions of years ago.

Risso, Sanchez-Ruiz Gaucher used lab and statistical techniques to reconstruct the sequences of beta-lactamase proteins dating to Precambrian times, two to three billion years ago.

The team also synthesised the inferred ancestral enzymes and conducted studies on their stability, structure and function.
"The availability of laboratory resurrections of Precambrian beta-lactamases opens up new possibilities in the study of the emergence of antibiotic resistance," the report states.

The study co-authors also note that the extreme stability and catalytic features displayed by the two-three-billion-year-old lactamases suggest that resurrected Precambrian proteins have utility for the biotechnology industry.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Members of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) show placards during a protest...

Members of Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) show placards during a protest...

Actor-Director Pooja Bhatt with 82-year-old Chandro Tomar popularly known as Revolver Dadi...

Actor-Director Pooja Bhatt with 82-year-old Chandro Tomar popularly known as Revolver Dadi...

A view of the Yadiyuru Lake in Bengaluru...

A view of the Yadiyuru Lake in Bengaluru...

The 485 km long Manali-Leh strategic road being cleared of snow by Border Road Organisation...

The 485 km long Manali-Leh strategic road being cleared of snow by Border Road Organisation...

Girls light candles on a painting dedicated to the victims of the recent London attack...

Girls light candles on a painting dedicated to the victims of the recent London attack...

Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on terrorist attack in London...

Renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on terrorist attack in London...

Workers prepare to lift the sunken Sewol ferry, center, in waters off Jindo, South Korea...

Workers prepare to lift the sunken Sewol ferry, center, in waters off Jindo, South Korea...

Farmers from the southern state of Tamil Nadu display skulls, who they claim are the remains...

Farmers from the southern state of Tamil Nadu display skulls, who they claim are the remains...

Artists perform during Annual Mega National Festival 'One India' in Jalandhar...

Artists perform during Annual Mega National Festival 'One India' in Jalandhar...

Fire personnel dousing a major fire that broke out in the shops outside Mahakaleshwar temple...

Fire personnel dousing a major fire that broke out in the shops outside Mahakaleshwar temple...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523