Ada E. Yonath

The Ribosome - a Connection Between the Prebiotic Origin of Life and Next Generation Antibiotics


Abstract

Ribosomes translate the genetic code into proteins. They possess a highly conserved pocket of spectacular architecture for peptide bonds formation. The high conservation may indicate that it represents a prebiotic machine, coined by us the “proto-ribosome”, and suggested to be the kernel around which life originated.
Owing to their significance many antibiotics target ribosomes. For controlling antibiotics the severe problem resistance, we compared the structures of ribosomes from harmless vs. multi-resistant pathogenic bacteria. Thus, revealing novel species-specific structural motifs that inspired design of novel antibiotics, of desired properties, which can be optimized in toxicity, species-specificity for preserving the microbiome, and in bio-degradability, thus reducing ecological hazards caused by current antibiotics’ metabolites.


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