They discover a molecule as deadly as Keanu Reeves
Photo: Yuichi Yamazaki/ / AFP / Getty Images
american actor Keanu Reeves He is recognized for playing lethal subjects on the big screen as John Wick and therefore A molecule was named after him which is implacable against certain fungi.
Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Natural Products and Infection Biology (Leibniz-HKI) in Jena, Germany, found that bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas produce a potent natural product antimicrobial that can be lethal against fungal plant diseases as well as human pathogenic fungi.
The newly discovered group of natural products of bacteria named keanumicins it works effectively against the plant pest Botrytis cinerea, which triggers gray mold rot and causes immense crop losses every year. But the active principle also inhibits dangerous fungi for humanssuch as Candida albicans. According to previous studies, it is harmless to plant and human cells.
the molecules “They kill so effectively that we named them after Keanu Reeves because he is also extremely deadly in his roles”explains Sebastian Götze, first author of the study and postdoc at Leibniz-HKI, with a wink.
Ecological alternative to pesticides and effective in humans
Therefore, keanumicins could be a green alternative to chemical pesticidesbut they could also offer an alternative in the fight against resistant fungi.
“We have an anti-infectives crisis,” Götze declared. “Many human pathogenic fungi are now resistant to antifungals, in part because they are used in large quantities in agricultural fields,” he adds.
This new molecule is not only useful in plants, but it could also be used for treat some fungal infections in humans.
“In addition, we tested the isolated substance against several fungi that infect humans. We discovered that strongly inhibits the fungal pathogen Candida albicans, among others”, says Götze.
Thus, instead of in plants, keanumicin could also be used in humans. According to the tests carried out so far, the natural product is not very toxic to human cells and it is already effective against fungi at very low concentrations. This makes it a good candidate for pharmaceutical development of new antifungals. In addition, these are urgently needed, since there are very few drugs against fungal infections on the market.
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