Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hide and Seek: Revealing Camouflaged Bacteria

17.04.2014

A research team at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has discovered an protein family that plays a central role in the fight against the bacterial pathogen Salmonella within the cells. The so called interferon-induced GTPases reveal and eliminate the bacterium’s camouflage in the cell, enabling the cell to recognize the pathogen and to render it innocuous. The findings are published in the current issue of the science magazine “Nature”.

Bacteria have developed countless strategies to hide themselves in order to evade attack by the immune system. In the body, Salmonella bacteria use macrophages as host cells to ensure their survival and to be able to spread within the body.


GTPases (green) attack Salmonella typhimurium (red).

(Figure: University of Basel, Biozentrum)

Their survival strategy is to nestle into a vacuole within the cytoplasm of a macrophage, hiding there and multiplying. While they are hidden there, the immune cells cannot detect the bacteria and fight them.

Exposure: GTPases destroy Salmonella’s hideout

The macrophages, in which the Salmonella hide, however, have also developed a strategy to unmask the disguise of the bacterium and uncover its hiding place. Prof. Petr Broz’s research group at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel has discovered a protein family called interferon-induced GTPases in host cells invaded by Salmonella.

“They are responsible for destroying the hiding place of the pathogen and to initiate the immune response of the cell,” explains Etienne Meunier, first author of the publication.

Destruction: Kick-off for attacking the bacteria

Once the hiding place has been discovered, GTPases are transported to the vacuole and destabilize its membrane. The bacteria are left behind unprotected in the cytoplasm where their surface molecules are easily recognized by the intracellular defense.

“The GTPases are the key to the hiding place of the bacteria. Once the door has been opened and the protective vacuole destroyed, there is no escape. The bacteria are immediately exposed to the defense machinery of the cell”, says Meunier. Receptors in the cell identify the pathogen, which then activate special cellular enzymes to destroy the bacteria. In addition, the cells own proteases, so-called caspases, are activated and trigger cell death of the infected host cell.

Salmonella still remain a feared pathogenic agent, as they can cause life threatening diarrheal disease. The findings of Broz and his team enable the better understanding of the strategies of the immune cells and to perhaps model this in the future.

The deeper understanding of the immune response of our cells also paves the way for new approaches in using drugs to support the body’s fight against pathogens. In order to further elucidate the mechanisms of the immune response to Salmonella infections, the research team plans to investigate how cells detect the hiding place of the bacteria, the vacuole in the cytoplasm of the macrophages, and what initiates the recruitment of GTPases to the vacuole.

Original Citation
Etienne Meunier, Mathias S. Dick, Roland F. Dreier, Nura Schürmann, Daniela Kenzelmann Broz, Søren Warming, Merone Roose-Girma, Dirk Bumann, Nobuhiko Kayagaki, Kiyoshi Takeda, Masahiro Yamamoto and Petr Broz
Caspase-11 activation requires lysis of pathogen-containing vacuoles by IFN-induced GTPases
Nature (2014); Advance Online Publication | doi: 10.1038/nature13157

Further Information
Prof. Petr Broz, University of Basel, Biozentrum, phone: +41 61 267 23 42, email: petr.broz@unibas.ch

Heike Sacher | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch

Further reports about: Biozentrum Salmonella drugs macrophage mechanisms pathogenic protein responsible strategies

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>