Molecular machinery that makes potent antibiotic revealed after decades of research

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Discovery by Rutgers and other scientists could lead to new antibiotics and anticancer drugs

The 3D structure of McbBCD, an enzyme (protein) that makes the potent antibiotic microcin B17 from a smaller protein known as a peptide, as revealed by X-ray crystallography. The red spheres show chemical “cycles” formed by the enzyme that are required for antibacterial activity.

Scientists at Rutgers and universities in Russia, Poland and England have solved a nearly 30-year mystery – how the molecular machinery works in an enzyme that makes a potent antibiotic.

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