Prof. Dr. Ada Yonath: Nobelova nagrajenka za kemijo 2009
Na Kemijskem inštitutu bodo gostili Nobelovo nagrajenko za kemijo leta 2009 dr. Ado Yonath (Weitzman Institute of Science), ki bo imela predavanje z naslovom Thoughts about Origin of Life and Next Generation Species Specific Eco Friendly Antibiotics.
Predavanje v angleščini bo v četrtek 29. novembra ob 12. uri.
Ribosomes, the universal cellular machines for translation of the genetic code into proteins, possess spectacular architecture, allowing for their smooth performance. The peptide-bonds are formed within a highly conserved internal pocket composed exclusively of RNA. Thus indicating that it may represent a prebiotic RNA machine, suggested by us to be the kernel around which life originated. Hence, called by us the “proto-ribosome”. The validity of this suggestion was verified, for the first time, by the formation of a peptide-bond by a synthetic “proto-ribosome”.
Owing to their significance, the ribosomes are targeted by many antibiotics. Resistance to antibiotics is a severe problem in contemporary medicine. Comparisons of the structures of ribosomes from harmless vs. multi-resistant pathogenic bacteria revealed novel structural motifs, essential for protein biosynthesis, but not located in the primary ribosomal active sites, thus inspired the design of novel antibiotics with desired chemical properties that can be optimized also in terms of their toxicity, cell penetration, species-specificity for preserving the microbiome, and bio-degradability, for reducing the ecological hazards caused by the spread of the current antibiotics’ non-degradable metabolites. Some of these motifs resemble structural extensions typical for eukaryotic ribosomes, thus leading to the intriguing question: are pathogens linked to evolution?