Adaptive Protein Evolution And Antibiotic Resistance

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The research presented in “Adaptive protein evolution grants organismal fitness by improving catalysis and flexibility” provides an integrated example of how understanding concepts of evolution is essential in all areas of science. This paper combines biochemical and evolutionary studies to investigate protein evolution and antibiotic resistance. Evolutionary concepts incorporated in this biochemical study include, but are not limited to: microevolution, adaption, selection, mutation, epistasis, fitness, phenotypic plasticity, trade-offs, etc. The two major evolutionary themes, mechanisms of evolution and adaption, are integral parts of the research conducted in this study and must be understood to fully appreciate the importance of this paper. This research conducted in this study pertains to protein evolution and antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are chemicals that kill bacteria by disrupting biochemical processes. Consequently, they rapidly sort resistant bacteria from susceptible ones. In the paper, “Adaptive protein evolution grants organismal fitness by improving catalysis and flexibility”, two mutations were discovered in metallo-ß-lactames (MßLs) that result in higher resistance to antibiotics. It was shown that, “mutations acting on the mechanism and the protein flexibility are able to shape the evolution of MßL-mediated antibiotic resistance” (1). The evolution of a protein (which is “crucial for organismal adaption and fitness”) relies on the interactions of
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