Drug resistance description

The crystal structure of the membrane transporter protein, MsbA, which is key to the emergence of drug resistance in bacteria and cancer cells alike has been determined by Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute. The discovery could lead to a new design approach to anticancer and antibiotic drugs that precludes resistance. "We actually have very good drugs to fight cancer and to kill bacteria," explains team leader Geoffrey Chang "But they can't always get in the cells to work." Bacteria use MsbA proteins to block antibiotics while the equivalent proteins in human cancer cells similarly undermine chemotherapy agents. Details gleaned from the crystal structure could allow researchers to circumvent these cellular defenses.