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, 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
Janna Eberhardt | Max-Planck-Institut
Further reports about: > Leibniz-Institut > Max Planck Institute > Molekulare Pharmakologie > Nature Immunology > Yersinia enterocolitica > Yersinia pseudotuberculosis > gram-negative bacteria > host cells > human cell > magnetic resonance > magnetic resonance spectroscopy > membrane protein > methods > nuclear magnetic resonance > nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy > pathogenic bacteria > synthetic biology
New type of photosynthesis discovered
17.06.2018 | Imperial College London
New ID pictures of conducting polymers discover a surprise ABBA fan
17.06.2018 | University of Warwick
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering