Microbial diseases pose a major threat to humanity as COVID 19 demonstrates. Staphylococcus aureus resistance to this day remains at the origin of many infectious diseases. Invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are still a killer with 120,000 bloodstream infections and 20,000 associated death in the United States alone in 2017.
Ribosome of S. aureus has been a solid antibiotic target for treating the infection, however with the constant evolution and development of bacterial resistance, novel discoveries of ribosomal mechanism are required to battle the bacteria.
The key to the survival of these bacterial cells lies in a mechanism of reduced energy consumption under adverse conditions. Joined forces of Cryo-EM and X-Ray crystallography allowed to demonstrate the mechanism of binding of RsfS protein to the uL14 protein of the large 50S ribosomal subunit. This fundamental research is a long way from a cure but it certainly helps pave the way to the design of drugs to combat this deadly pathogen.
Collaborators; Kazan Federal University of Russia, the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGMBC, France), the Institute of Protein Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Microbiology (University of Stuttgart, Germany) and NovAliX (Strasbourg, France).
The results has been published in Nature Communications: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15517-0