Bacterial compounds recently discovered by German scientists are so adept at evading predatory amoebae and killing enemies that they’ve named them “keanumycins” after legendary actor Keanu Reeves.
“Keanu Reeves plays many iconic roles in which he is extremely efficient at ‘inactivating’ his enemies,” Dr. Pierre Stolfort, researcher and professor of paleobiotechnology at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology in Jena, said recently. Germany New York Times.
“Keanumycins do the same to fungi.”
Keanumycins are peptides—short chains of amino acids that allow Pseudomonas bacteria to avoid predatory amoebae. In addition to being “amoebicidal,” Keanumycins are able to “drastically inhibit” infection of hydrangea, a flowering plant native to Japan, with Botrytis cinerea, one of the most destructive fungal pathogens, according to an article published earlier this year in Journal of the American Chemical Society.
B. dinner infects countless types of crops and causes $10 to $100 billion in production losses annually worldwide, according to a 2020 paper. Pathogens.
The keanumycins “create holes in the surface of the pathogen and it ‘bleeds’ to death,” said lead study author Sebastian Götze, a postdoctoral researcher in paleobiotechnology at the Leibniz Institute in Germany The times.
“Like Keanu Reeves in his many roles as a skilled assassin, the newly discovered molecules can also very effectively, at low concentrations, kill various human fungal pathogens by poking holes in them.”
The discovery of keanumycins is good news for crops. And that may be good news for humans: Newly discovered compounds have been shown to strongly inhibit the growth of candida albicans, which cause thrush, vaginal yeast infections and invasive candidiasis in humans.
The discovery could lead to the development of new antifungal agents for both crops and humans – a welcome development given the global threat posed by antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance, which includes antibiotic resistance, occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites evolve over time to become less sensitive to drugs, making infections increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.
In a Reddit thread held with Reeves last weekend, the actor said the scientists should have named the newly discovered compounds after John Wick, a character he plays in the film series. Wick is an ex-hitman who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters who killed his dog and stole his car.
“But it’s pretty cool,” Reeves wrote. “And surreal for me. But thanks, scientists! Good luck and thanks for helping us.”
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