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 Warming ponds could accelerate climate change
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever
21.02.2017 | University of Utah

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Start codons in DNA may be more numerous than previously thought

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Warming ponds could accelerate climate change

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>