In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from Monash University, The Rockefeller University and the University of Maryland detail how the bacteriophage lysin, PlyC, kills bacteria that cause infections from sore throats to pneumonia and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
Bacteriophages, viruses that specifically infect and kill bacteria using special proteins called lysins,
First identified in 1925, PlyC was purified in the 1960s by Professor Fischetti, but its atomic structure proved elusive until now. This advancement could lead to a new generation of antimicrobials.
The research is detailed in the following paper:
S. McGowan, A. M. Buckle, M. S. Mitchell, J. T. Hoopes, D. T. Gallagher, R. D. Heselpoth, Y. Shen, C. F. Reboul, R. H. P. Law, V. A. Fischetti, J. C. Whisstock, D. C. Nelson. X-ray crystal structure of the streptococcal specific phage lysin PlyC. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012