Results about: amino acids

Chiral molecules are those that are not superimposable on their mirror image. Consequently, there can be two distinct isomers of these molecules, called enantiomers. Many of the compounds associated with living organisms are chiral, for example proteins, enzymes, DNA, hormones, etc.

Our research addresses the evolution of the protein synthesis machinery, the molecular interactions that regulate it, and the biomedical applications that can be derived from its study. Our research projects are focused around the biology of transfer RNA (tRNA).

Researchers identify the component that allows a lethal type of bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

Scientists at IRB Barcelona identify a key component of the machinery that allows Staphylococcus aureus to transfer genes that confer antibiotic resistance. 

Infection by antibiotic-resistant S. aureus is a serious threat in hospitals worldwide.

Halting the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is one of the strategies available to tackle hospital infections.

Discovery of a fundamental limit to the evolution of the genetic code

A study performed at IRB Barcelona offers an explanation as to why the genetic code, the dictionary used by organisms to translate genes into protein, stopped growing 3,000 million years ago.

The reason is attributed to the structure of transfer RNAs—the key molecules in the translation of genes into proteins.

The genetic code is limited to 20 amino acids—the building blocks of proteins—the maximum number that prevents systematic mutations, which are fatal for life.

The discovery could have applications in synthetic biology.