Natassja Bush and Tony Maxwell
The image shows the molecular structure of a key bacterial enzyme called DNA gyrase. This enzyme is essential for survival in all bacteria but is absent from humans and as such has become an important target for antibiotics, such as the fluoroquinolones. Information about the structure of the enzyme, obtained by X-ray crystallography, is crucial in gaining a molecular understanding of how antibiotics work and in designing new antibiotics. Work to develop novel agents that target DNA gyrase is being carried out by researchers on the Norwich Research Park at the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia.