Feb 19 2010
Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a development-stage antibiotics company
with a broad product pipeline based on its innovative discovery
platform, and Yale University today announced the discovery by Thomas
Steitz, Ph.D., co-founder of Rib-X and Yale University professor, of
important new ribosomal structures of antibiotics, enabling the
potential creation of novel treatments for drug resistant infections,
including resistant tuberculosis (TB).
“The Structures of the Anti-Tuberculosis Antibiotics
Viomycin and Capreomycin Bound to the 70S Ribosome”
In the paper, “The Structures of the Anti-Tuberculosis Antibiotics
Viomycin and Capreomycin Bound to the 70S Ribosome,” published in the
journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (advance online
publication, 14 February 2010), Dr. Steitz and his colleagues at Yale’s
Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, describe how they
have identified two structures of tuberactinomycins (antibiotics used to
treat TB) bound to the ribosome. The identification of these structures
provides insight for the design of novel antibiotic derivatives that
could be effective against a variety of drug resistant microorganisms.
"It is gratifying that Dr. Steitz and his colleagues have determined the
structure of a drug used to treat TB bound to the ribosome, which is its
target. The information they have obtained may make it possible to
develop new drugs for treating this serious disease," commented Peter
Moore, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Chemistry, and Professor of
Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University and a Rib-X
"The Rib-X drug discovery initiative will greatly benefit by access to
this new, high quality structural information," said Susan Froshauer,
Ph.D., Founder and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Rib-X
Pharmaceuticals. “This work provides the basis for Rib-X to create
completely novel and more effective antibiotics for treating a variety
of drug-resistant infections.”
In December 2009, Rib-X expanded its license agreement with Yale
University in the area of ribosomal antibiotic structure and function.
Under the agreement, Rib-X will further explore the high-resolution
crystal structure of new ribosome technology elucidated by Dr. Thomas
Steitz and colleagues at Yale. Dr. Steitz was awarded the 2009 Nobel
Prize in Chemistry for his groundbreaking work determining a high
resolution crystal structure of the 50S subunit of the ribosome which
has proved to be a major target for antibiotic development.
“It’s very exciting to continually add to our knowledge of the ribosome.
These structures of viomycin and capreomycin bound to the ribosome
allowed us to identify an important new ribosome binding site and to
better understand how these antibiotics inhibit ribosome function,” said
Thomas Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and
Biochemistry at Yale University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Investigator and Rib-X co-Founder.
Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc.