Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How bacteria attack their host cells with sticky lollipops

12.11.2012
Press release of the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology and the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie:

Tübingen and Berlin scientists investigate pathogens by help of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy – Publications in Nature Methods and Nature Scientific Reports


lollipop structures enabling the bacteria to attach to their host cells. Copyright: Barth van Rossum/Leibniz-Institut fuer Molekulare Pharmakologie

Yersinia enterocolitica, a pathogenic bacterium, causes fever and diarrhea. By help of a protein anchored in its membrane, Yersinia attaches to its host cells and infects them. Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen and the Leibniz-Institut fuer Molekulare Pharmakologie in Berlin have determined the structure of an important component of the membrane protein and have gained insight into its biogenesis. The membrane proteins provide an interesting starting point for the development of new antibiotics against pathogens.

Several diseases are caused by an infection with Yersinia enterocolitica. In babies the bacteria induce fever and diarrhea, in adolescents and adults they cause inflammations of the small intestine and various forms of inflammatory arthritis. Yersinia can be transmitted to humans directly from animals, especially pigs, if for example meat has not been heated sufficiently. Special membrane proteins of the bacteria, so-called adhesins, do not only look like lollipops, but are also as sticky as the sweets. They enable the bacteria to attach to their host cells and to invade them. The adhesins reach the bacterial surface by a complex autotransport mechanism. In their study the scientists concentrated on the membrane domain of the complex protein that is responsible for the transport of the extracellular domains. “This study could only be carried out in a true collaboration,” says Dirk Linke from the Max Planck Institute. The study was funded by the ‘Forschungsprogramm Methoden für die Lebenswissenschaften’ of the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung.

Proteins located in the membrane are often difficult to isolate, purify and crystallize. It is therefore challenging to study them by conventional structure determination methods. The scientists used solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to gain structural information about the membrane protein domain. “In addition, magnetic resonance spectroscopy provides insight into the transport dynamics,” explains Barth van Rossum from the Leibniz Institute.

Yersinia belongs to the class of gram-negative bacteria who are bounded by a specially structured outer double membrane. Many more pathogenic bacteria such as salmonella, legionella or the Cholera pathogen are members of this group causing diarrhea, infections of the urinary tract or the pulmonary tract. The scientists assume that, similar to Yersinia, many gram-negative bacteria make use of membrane proteins in the infection process. “However, in human cells this type of membrane protein is not to be found,” says Dirk Linke. Hopes are that the knowledge about the autotransporter proteins will help in the development of new substances to specifically block transport processes at the membrane of pathogenic bacteria. However the scientists state that there is still a long way to go. They will now conduct new experiments to systematically apply changes to the particularly flexible parts of the protein domain in order to reach a deeper understanding of its mechanism.

Original publications:
Shakeel A. Shahid, Benjamin Bardiaux, Trent Franks, Ludwig Krabben, Michael Habeck, Barth-Jan van Rossum, Dirk Linke: Membrane protein structure determination by solid-state NMR spectroscopy of microcrystals. Nature Methods, 2012; doi: 10.1038/NMETH.2248

Shakeel A. Shahid, Stefan Markovic, Dirk Linke & Barth-Jan van Rossum: Assignment and secondary structure of the YadA membrane protein by solid-state MAS NMR. Scientific Reports (2012); doi: 10.1038/srep00803

Contact:

Dirk Linke
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
Phone: +49 7071 601- 357
e-mail: dirk.linke(at)tuebingen.mpg.de
Janna Eberhardt (Public Relations)
Phone: +49 7071 601- 444
e-mail: presse-eb(at)tuebingen.mpg.de
Barth-Jan van Rossum
Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie
Phone: +49 30 94793- 244
e-mail:brossum(at)fmp-berlin.de
Silke Oßwald (Public Relations)
Phone: +49 30 94793- 104
e-mail: osswald(at)fmp-berlin.de

Janna Eberhardt | Max-Planck-Institut
Further information:
http://www.fmp-berlin.de
http://tuebingen.mpg.de/en/homepage/detail/how-bacteria-attack-their-host-cells-with-sticky-lollipops.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>