Plenary Session 3

The Ribosome - a Connection between the Prebiotic Origin of Life and Next Generation Antibiotics

Date/Time: Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
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Ribosomes translate the genetic code into proteins. They possess a highly conserved pocket of spectacular architecture for peptide bonds formation. Its high conservation may indicate that it represents a prebiotic machine, coined by us the “proto-ribosome”, and suggested to be the kernel around which life originated. Owing to the ribosome’s vital role, many antibiotics target them. For controlling antibiotics resistance, a very the severe problem of modern medicine, we compared the structures of ribosomes from harmless vs. multi-resistant pathogenic bacteria, and revealed novel species- specific structural motifs. These inspired the design of unique, next generation, antibiotics of desired properties, which can be optimized in terms of toxicity, species-specificity for preserving the microbiome, and bio-degradability, thus reducing ecological hazards caused by current antibiotics’ metabolites. Careful inspections of some of the so discovered new rRNA extensions of the ribosomes from pathogens, revealed close to identity with features identified in eukaryotic ribosomes. Hence leading to the intriguing question: is pathogenicity part of the missing link between eubacteria and eukaryotes?