Resistance to an entire class of antibiotics – aminoglycosides -- has the potential to spread to many types of bacteria, according to new biochemistry research. A mobile gene called NpmA was discovered in E. coli bacteria several years ago. Global spread of NpmA and related antibiotic resistance enzymes could disable an entire class of tools doctors use to fight serious or life-threatening infections. Using X-ray crystallography, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine made an atomic-scale snapshot of how the enzyme encoded by NpmA interacts with part of the ribosome, protein factories essential for all cells to function.
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