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New molecule found in chestnut leaves disarms harmful staph bacteria

New molecule found in chestnut leaves disarms harmful staph bacteria

European or sweet chestnuts are native to Southern Europe and Asia Minor. Credit: Quave Lab.

Scientists have isolated a molecule extracted from the leaves of a European chestnut tree. It has the power to fight drug-resistant and harmful staph bacteria. Frontiers in Pharmacology published these findings. led by scientists from Emory University

Researchers dubbed the molecule Castaneroxy A after the genus of European chestnut Castanea. The use of chestnut leaves in folk remedies in rural Italy inspired research.

“We were able to isolate this molecule, which is new to science, which occurs in very small quantities in chestnut leaves,”

; said Cassandra Quave, senior author of the paper and associate professor in Emory’s Center for Human Health Studies and School. of the Faculty of Dermatology Medicine. “We also showed that it disarmed. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus by eliminating the bacteria’s ability to produce toxins.”

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes infections that are difficult to treat due to antibiotic resistance. The disease is one of the most serious infectious disease concerns worldwide. by identifying as “Serious Threats” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States alone There are nearly 3 million antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States each year. Killed more than 35,000 people.

Antibiotics work by killing staph bacteria, which can lead to greater resistance among the few surviving bacteria, causing “superbugs.” The Quave lab has identified a compound from the Brazilian peppertree. In addition to the European chestnut That simply counteracts the harmful effects of MRSA, allowing cells and tissues to naturally heal from infection without increasing drug resistance.

“We are trying to fill the pipeline for antimicrobial discovery with compounds that work differently than traditional antibiotics,” Quave said. “We urgently need these new strategies.” It kills about 700,000 people worldwide each year. And that number is expected to increase dramatically if no new treatments are found.

first author of Frontiers in Pharmacology The paper is Akram Salam, doing research as a Ph.D. Students in Quave Laboratories through Emory’s Graduate Program in Molecular Systems and Pharmacology.

Quave is a medical botanist who researches traditional plant remedies in search of new medicinal opportunities. since aspirin (Willow bark) to Taxol (Pacific yew bark). Quave is one of the few ethnographic botanists to highlight antibiotic resistance.

The story behind the current report began more than ten years ago, when Quave and her colleagues researched written reports and conducted hundreds of field interviews among people in rural southern Italy. That points to the European chestnut, or chestnut tree that is native to southern Europe and Asia Minor. “In traditional medicine of Italy Apply boiled leaves to the skin to treat burns, rashes and infected wounds,” says Quave.

Quave took the sample back to her lab for analysis. By 2015, her lab published research showing that the leaf extract disarms even the highly virulent strains of MRSA that can cause MRSA. It can be a fatal infection in healthy athletes. The experiments also showed that the extract did not interfere with normal, healthy bacteria in skin cells.

Finally, the researchers demonstrated how the extract works by inhibiting the ability of MRSA bacteria to communicate with each other. This is a process known as quorum sensing. MRSA uses this sensory signaling system to produce toxins and increase their severity.

for the current document The researchers wanted to separate these active ingredients from plant extracts. This process is painstaking when done manually. Since plant extracts often contain hundreds of different chemicals, each chemical must be isolated and tested for efficacy. large fraction collector in combination with a highly efficient liquid chromatography system Automate this extraction process. But it can cost tens of thousands of dollars and doesn’t have all the features that the Quave lab needs.

Marco Caputo, an expert in lab research, solved this problem. Using software devices from children’s toys The creators of the LEGO MINDSTORMS robot, a few LEGO bricks, and some components from the Caputo hardware store built a lab-customized automatic liquid separator for $500. Lab members dubbed the invention LEGO MINDSTORMS. Fraction Collector They publish instructions for creating it in their journals so that other researchers can take advantage of the simple technology. but effective

Quave labs have isolated a group of molecules from plant extracts cycloartane triterpenoids. And it showed for the first time that the group actively blocks the pathogenesis of MRSA. By separating the single molecule that is the most active from this group. which is now known as Castaneroxy A.

“Our homemade device really accelerated our discovery,” Quave said. “We were able to isolate this molecule and get its pure crystals. even though it only makes up .0019 percent of the chestnut leaves.”

A skin test of MRSA-infected mice was performed in co-author Alexander Horswill’s lab at the University of Colorado. It has confirmed the molecular efficacy of MRSA inhibition, allowing the skin to heal faster.

Co-author John Bacsa, director of the Emory Department of Chemistry’s X-ray Crystallography Center, defines the shape of Castaneroxy A crystals. Optimizing potential therapeutic molecules .

“We are laying the foundation for a new strategy to combat bacterial infections at the clinical level,” Quave said. We are focusing on how to treat patients better. Our goal is not to kill microbes, but to find ways to weaken them so that the immune system or antibiotics can better clear them. out of the infection.”

Chestnut leaf extract yields a product that disarms the deadly staph bacteria.

More information:
Akram M. Salam et al, Castaneroxy A from the leaves of Castanea sativa inhibits virulence in Staphylococcus aureus, Frontiers in Pharmacology (2021). doi: 10.3389 / fphar.2021.640179

Provided by Emory University

reference: New molecule found in chestnut leaves disarms dangerous staph bacteria (2021, June 28). Retrieved June 29, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-molecule-chestnut-dangerous-staph-bacteria.html.

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