Dr. Thirunavukkarasu Annamalai, Assistant Research Scientist from Professor Yuk-Ching Tse-Dinh’s research group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, presented his research entitled “Screening for Novel Leads Towards Antibacterial Compounds Targeting Bacterial Topoisomerase I” at the Florida Drug Discovery Acceleration Program Collaborator Conference on January 23rd, 2015 in Port St. Lucie, FL.
This research of the Tse-Dinh group focuses on the urgent need for the discovery of new antibacterial therapies due to the widespread prevalence of resistance to the existing antibiotics. Developing antibiotics against novel cellular targets could be one way to combat antibiotic resistance. Bacterial Topoisomerase I is one such novel target for which no known antibiotic exist. Topoisomerases are enzymes found in all organisms, which play an essential part in every DNA function by regulating DNA topology via the rapid cleavage and religation of one or both strands of the DNA double-helix. Topoisomerase poison inhibitors trap the enzyme while it cleaves the DNA and cause cell death. Enzymatic and cell viability assays were used to screen scaffold mixtures from Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies for novel candidates leading to topoisomerase poison inhibitors targeting bacterial topoisomerase I.