Could an insect-derived compound be a new class of antibiotics against Gram-negatives?

A compound termed thanatin has been reported to target the intermembrane protein complex required for liopolysccharide (LPS) transport in Gram-negative bacteria, potentially presenting an antibiotic with an entirely novel mechanism.

Researchers from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) have discovered that thanatin, a compound produced naturally by the spined soldier bug Podisus maculiventris, could target Gram-negative bacteria by preventing formation of the bacteria’s outer membrane – an unprecedented mechanism.

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