Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

German researchers make significant strides in identifying cause of bacterial infections

24.04.2009
Several bacterial pathogens use toxins to manipulate human host cells, ultimately disturbing cellular signal transduction. Until now, however, scientists have been able to track down only a few of the proteins that interact with bacterial toxins in infected human cells.

Now, researchers of the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch in Germany have identified 39 interaction partners of these toxins, using novel technology which allowed them to screen for large numbers of proteins simultaneously (Cell Host & Microbe, Vol. 5, Issue 4, 397-403)*.

Many bacteria inject toxins into human cells using a secretion system that resembles a molecular syringe. Within the host cell, some of these toxins are activated in such a way that they can manipulate important cellular signaling pathways. In healthy cells, these signals serve to regulate metabolism or cell division, among other things. By manipulating the signals, bacteria can abuse the cell machinery of the human host in order to spread and survive.

Applying a method developed by Professor Matthias Mann of the MPI, the scientists succeeded for the first time in systematically investigating the cellular target sites of the bacterial toxins. "Surprisingly, the toxins are not optimally adapted to the structures of human proteins," Dr. Matthias Selbach of MDC explained. While binding relatively weakly to individual human proteins, they are able to influence several different proteins simultaneously. "A single bacterial toxin seems to function like a master key that can access different host cell proteins in parallel", Dr. Selbach said. "Perhaps it is due to this strategy that bacteria are able to attack very different cells and, thus, to increase their survival chances in the host."

Dr. Selbach hopes that these basic research findings will help to improve the treatment of bacterial infections in the future. Instead of nonspecific antibiotic therapy, new drugs could target the signaling mechanisms which are disrupted by the bacterial toxins.

*Host cell interactome of tyrosine-phosphorylated bacterial proteins

Matthias Selbach1,2, Florian Ernst Paul2, Sabine Brandt3, Patrick Guye4, Oliver Daumke2, Steffen Backert5, Christoph Dehio4, Matthias Mann1

1Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Dept. of Proteomics and Signal Transduction, Am Klopferspitz 18, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany
2Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, Robert-Rössle-Str. 10, D-13092 Berlin, Germany
3Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Institute for Medical Microbiology, Leipziger Str. 44, D-39120 Magdeburg, Germany
4Biozentrum of the University of Basel, Focal Area Infection Biology, Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland

5University College Dublin, School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Ardmore House, Dublin-4, Ireland

Barbara Bachtler
Press and Public Affairs
Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch
Robert-Rössle-Straße 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 96
Fax: +49 (0) 30 94 06 - 38 33
e-mail: presse@mdc-berlin.de

Barbara Bachtler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdc-berlin.de
http://www.biochem.mpg.de/mann/index.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>