ICACSB-2019 calls for innovation in biopharmaceuticalsApril 8, 2019
Bacterial resistance to existing antibiotics is a severe problem in the field of medicine at present. Structural studies on ribosomes from multi-resistant bacteria and comparisons to previous ribosome structures revealed novel structural motifs, essential for protein biosynthesis. These are not located in the primary ribosomal active sites, hence there is no effective mechanism for their modification, which leads to resistance to antibiotics. These findings prompted the design of antibiotics with desired structures that can be optimized in terms of their chemical properties, toxicity, cellular penetration, and species-specificity, said Israeli Nobel Laureate Prof. Ada E Yonath, reiterating her views on the urgent need for quick and specific efforts on the development of new antibiotics. She was delivering her keynote address at the 5th International Conference of Advanced Chemical and Structural Biology organised by PRIST Deemed University.
Echoing similar views, Prof TP Singh, Department of Biophysics, All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi, said that in order to overcome the problem of bacterial resistance, antibiotics need to be modified and new drug discovery pursued.
Delivering his keynote lecture on the topic — Protein Antibiotics as New Generation Weapons Against Invading Microbes — Singh added: “Here we propose an entirely new concept of introducing innate immune proteins from different species. It has been well known that the proteins of the innate immune system provide the first line of defence against infecting microbes. These proteins recognize the conserved motifs that are present on the cell walls of bacteria.”
The three-day conference, which consisted of six plenary sessions, five keynote addresses, 15 short lectures and 117 posters, brought together several scientists from countries that were hitherto unrepresented in the conference.
Senior scientists from premium research institutions in countries such as Israel, South Korea, Japan, France, China, Singapore, Sweden, Germany, USA and India participated in the conference.
“The objective was to effectively spread the message of chemical and biological science researchers all over the world. It also offers new networking opportunities amongst scientists and young research scholars from all over the world to create an immense outreach for academic circles and research industries,” informed Dr Dhurairajan Senthilnathan from Center for Computational Chemistry, PRIST University, and convener, ICACSB.
Presenting a plenary lecture on Noncanonical DNAs: Structure, function and modulation, Kyeong Kyu Kim from Department of Molecular Biology, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, South Korea, said that most DNA in the genome is considered to be present as B-form, but new evidence suggests that DNA structures are highly polymorphic. “Therefore, many sequence-specific noncanonical DNA or non-B DNA conformations transiently exist in the genome, often in response to changes in the cellular environment or when bound to proteins, and thus their presence or mutation is relevant to various diseases, including tumours.”
Keeping abreast of advancements in chemical and structural biology is key to making significant inroads to attack problems that have an interdisciplinary nature, and provides a research base for advancing biopharmaceutical research. The innovations and research in this field are already impacting the society positively and hence we could expect more innovations that will contribute to the sustainability of human beings in this century, said Dr N Ethirajalu, vice chancellor, PRIST University.