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on 7/3/01 I said:

"Consider some areas of development: Cancer therapy, I believe the GNTA anti-Bcl-2 antisense drug will greatly enhance the effectiveness of classical chemotherapy (cytotoxic agents) and radioherapy. Exactly the same principle will work on antibiotic resistant bacteria....suppress penicillinase and revive the effectiveness of that well-tested drug."


Now:

Thursday September 20 5:15 PM ET

Crucial Staph Genes Identified
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In an analysis of the DNA of a potentially deadly bacterium, scientists have identified a number of genes that appear to be essential for the bug's survival.

The function of many genes in the bacterium, known as Staphylococcus aureus or simply ``Staph,' remains unknown, but the identification of some essential genes may provide researchers with new targets for drugs to fight the bacterium, investigators suggest.

Staph is a common, but serious, cause of infection--particularly in hospitals. Several strains of the bacterium have become increasingly resistant to the effects of antibiotics.

To get a better idea of how the resilient bacterium survives, a team at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Research in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, analyzed Staph's genes. They did this using a type of genetic material called antisense RNA, which is programmed to block specific genes.

In experiments in animals and in laboratory cultures, Dr. Yinduo Ji and colleagues identified 150 genes that seem to be essential for Staph's survival. When antisense RNA was used to block the activation of these genes, the bacterium could not survive, according to the report in the September 21st issue of the journal Science.

About 40% of the genes are versions of known bacterial genes. Another 30% appear to be versions of genes with known functions. But the function of the remaining genes is a mystery, even though Staph seems to depend on them to survive.

Ji and colleagues conclude that using antisense RNA is an effective way to identify crucial genes in Staph. The approach, they state, might identify new targets for antibiotic medications.

SOURCE: Science 2001;293:2266-2269.
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/nm/20010920/hl/staph_1.html

I got this off the Yahoo!! AVII board; Msg: 10357 of 10369.

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