The war on drugs : antibiotic recognition by the ykkCD RNA toxin sensor
Antibiotic resistance is a rapidly growing concern in the global world of healthcare. As our ability to treat infectious becomes more advanced, so do the bacteria's ability to combat it. Currently, more research is needed to uncover how these microorganisms manage to defend themselves against the barrage of treatments available against them. The Gerczei lab is exploring one of the mechanisms of bacterial antibiotic resistance; specifically, how a noncoding RNA regulates the expression of the ykkCD multi-drug resistance efflux pump. This pump removes toxins from bacteria cells thus making the treatment with a wide array of antibiotics useless. Using Bacillus subtilis as a model organism, I studied how the ykkCD riboswitch recognizes the target antibiotic, tetracycline, using its derivatives oxycycline and anhydrotetracycline. The expression levels of the ykkCD subunits were analyzed using qRT-PCR technology.