Team Discovers Rules for Breaking into Pseudomonas
Published:03 Jan.2024    Source:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau
Researchers report in the journal Nature that they have found a way to get antibacterial drugs through the nearly impenetrable outer membrane of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that -- once it infects a person -- is notoriously difficult to treat.
By bombarding P. aeruginosa with hundreds of compounds and using machine learning to determine the physical and chemical traits of those molecules that accumulated inside it, the team discovered how to penetrate the bacterium's defenses.

They used this information to convert an antibacterial drug that previously had no activity against P. aeruginosa into one that did. "Pseudomonas is still the most difficult to treat gram-negative infection, and gram-negative infections are very challenging to treat in general," said University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign chemistry professor Paul Hergenrother, who led the work with former graduate student Emily Geddes, a handful of other graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the Hergenrother lab and collaborators at Roche.< style="display:none" href="">