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Inhibitors explain enzyme involved in gene expression

November 4, 2003

The identification and characterization of the novel “CBR703” class of inhibitors through combined efforts in biochemistry, genetics and structural modeling with contributions from UW–Madison scientists and biopharmaceutical company Cumbre Inc. are described in a paper published in the Oct. 24 issue of Science.

Co-author Robert Landick, bacteriology, says the RNA polymerase inhibitors are a major breakthrough.

“They give us a powerful new tool to study the mechanism of the central enzyme in the process of gene expression,” says Landick, whose laboratory focuses on studies of regulatory mechanisms that control gene expression in bacteria. “They also hold great promise for the development of new antibiotics that target bacterial pathogens, which is now a high-priority need in both medicine and bio-defense.”