“The discovery made by scientists, which has now been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, could be a completely new starting point in developing antibiotics. ‘New drugs could now be developed on the basis of our findings that kill the bacteria that cause illnesses’, hopes Dr. David Dulin from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research at FAU. The FAU team led by Dr. David Dulin and the team led by Achillefs Kapanidis at the University of Oxford have discovered that the early phase of ribonucleic acid (RNA) production is the key to controlling the regulation of bacterial gene expression. Gene expression is the term used to describe how a gene product coded by a gene is is formed . These products are often proteins, or RNA molecules.
In bacteria, the RNA is produced using a large protein complex called RNA polymerase (RNAP). The RNAP reads the DNA sequence and builds a copy of the RNA by joining nucleotides together – the fundamental building blocks of RNA – during a process called transcription. Since this production of RNA is fundamental for the survival of the bacteria, it has already been the subject of intensive research and used as the starting point for developing antibiotics, for example for the treatment of tuberculosis. However, it remained unclear how the production of RNA is also regulated at the stage of early transcription when RNAP has just begun to join together the first few RNA building blocks. This was the subject of the research carried out by the team of scientists.”