Day 2 :
Weizmann Institute, Israel
Keynote: Novel antibiotics against species-specific resistance, microbiome conservation and environmental preservation
Time : 09:30-10:30
Ada Yonath is focusing on protein biosynthesis and the antibiotics hampering it. In the seventies she established the first structural-biology laboratory in Israel. She is the Director of Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure. During 1986-2004 she was the Head of Max-Planck Research Unit for Ribosome Structure in Hamburg. She is a Member of US National Academy of Sciences, Israel Academy, German Science Academy and Pontificia Accademia-delle-Scienze (Vatican). She holds honorary Doctorates from Oslo, NYU, Mount-Sinai, Oxford, Cambridge, Hamburg, Berlin-Technical, Patras, De-La-Salle, Xiamen, Lodz universities. Her awards include the Israel Prize, Louisa-Gross-Horwitz Prize, Linus-Pauling Gold Medal, Wolf-Prize, UNESCO/L’Oreal Award, Albert-Einstein World Award for Excellence and Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
The current global escalation in resistance to antibiotics is a serious threat, as it seems that the world is headed for a post antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries that have been treatable for decades could become fatal again. Ribosomes, the universal cellular machines that translate the genetic code into proteins, are paralyzed by many clinically useful antibiotics. The structures of ribosomes from non-pathogenic bacteria, used as models for genuine pathogens, illuminated the antibiotics binding modes, inhibitory actions, synergism pathways, the differentiation between patients vs. pathogens and mechanisms leading to bacterial resistance. However, as species specific diversity was detected in susceptibility to infectious diseases and in developing specific resistance mechanisms, our structural studies have been extended to ribosomes from genuine pathogens. The high resolution structures of ribosomal particles from multi-resistant pathogens and from eukaryotic parasites with several antibiotics, highlighted subtle, albeit highly significant structural elements that can account partially or fully for species specificity and may be exploited for improving known antibiotics and for the design of novel compounds.
Tokyo University of Science, Japan
Time : 10:30-11:00
Reiko Kuroda has obtained her PhD in Chemistry from The University of Tokyo and carried out Postdoctoral studies at King’s College London. Her research focuses on chirality both in the field of chemistry and biology: Chirality recognition, transfer and amplification in the solid state, development of chiroptical spectrophotometers to follow aggregation processes of e.g. β-amyloids and the molecular basis of snail coiling. She has 320 papers published to her credit.
Body handedness of Gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis is determined by a single gene locus that functions maternally. We have previously shown that the gene dictates the cytoskeletal dynamics at the third cleavage and have created fertile snails of mirror-image body plan by mechanically manipulating the blastomeres at this stage. In this talk, we shall show that nodal expression started at the 33-49 cell stage and was confined only to the left or the right side of embryos, in a mirror-image manner for the sinistral and the dextral snails, throughout the development until the shell was getting formed. The mechano-manipulation reversed the entire expression. Thus, the blastomere arrangement at the 8-cell stage regulates the asymmetric expression of nodal/Pitx genes. At the 24-cell stage, the organizer macromere 3D moved to the central location of vegetal side, filled almost entire cleavage cavity where it contacted with micromeres. MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) was activated in 3D macromere 30 - 60 min. after embryo reached the 24 cell stage. Treatment with U0126, a specific inhibitor of MEK (MAPK/ERK kinase), at the 4-8 cell stage completely inhibited the expression of nodal and its downstream Pitx, whereas, similar treatment at the 24-cell stage after the activation of MAPK did not inhibit the gene expressions. These results clearly indicate that chirality determined at the 8-cell stage is transferred to the 24-cell stage via spiral cleavage and MAPK at the 24-cell stage controls the left-right asymmetric expression of nodal/Pitx genes.