Rachel Powers Research
-lactamases are the most widespread resistance mechanism to -lactams and are categorized into four classes, each exhibiting a unique mechanism for destruction of -lactam substrates. Of particular concern are the class D -lactamases, which hydrolyze several of the most potent -lactams in clinical use. In part, resistance derives from the structural similarity of the inhibitors to the -lactams themselves. Therefore an urgent need exists for novel inhibitors that do not resemble -lactams. Research in the Powers lab employs a structure-based approach to identify and characterize binding sites on the class D -lactamases OXA-1 and OXA-24 and will be used to discover novel, non- -lactam inhibitors for these key resistance enzymes using molecular docking.