Clever chemistry and a new class of antibiotics

A more rigid key in the lock

Researchers at Brown and MIT re-engineered some acyldepsipeptides — ADEPs — to make them more rigid and better able to disrupt the biochemistry of bacteria. The changes vastly increased potency of ADEPs. Credit: Sello lab/Brown University

A new class of molecules called acyldepsipeptides — ADEPs — may provide a new way to attack bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics. Researchers at Brown and MIT have discovered a way to increase the potency of ADEPs by up to 1,200 times. Their findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.