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Small Molecule Acts As On-Off Switch for Nature's Antibiotic Factory

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Scientists have identified the developmental on-off switch for Streptomyces, a group of soil microbes that produce more than two-thirds of the world's naturally derived antibiotic medicines.

Their hope now would be to see whether it is possible to manipulate this switch to make nature's antibiotic factory more efficient.

The study, appearing August 28 in Cell, found that a unique interaction between a small molecule called cyclic-di-GMP and a larger protein called BldD ultimately controls whether a bacterium spends its time in a vegetative state or gets busy making antibiotics.

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