Since the discovery of antibiotics over 80 years ago, bacterial infections have been relatively straightforward to treat. However, the improper use of antibiotics has caused bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance, posing a serious global threat to preventing and treating common bacterial infections.
This project seeks to combat multi-drug resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by improving on an antimicrobial compound that naturally occurs in the environment. Indolmycin is naturally produced by Streptomyces griseus and is active against multi-drug resistant MRSA strains.
We aim to develop forms of indolmycin that are more potent against MRSA by feeding Streptomyces griseus with variant amino acids. In addition, we will perform structure-based studies to elucidate the molecular mechanism of anti-MRSA activity in indolmycin. This will allow for rational design of more effective forms of indolmycin.
Ultimately, this research could give rise to novel antibiotics to treat infections such as MRSA that are developing resistance to our current toolkit.