Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hope for the Honey Bee?

04.08.2014

Peptide-polyketide antibiotic from the pathogen that causes American Foulbrood

Infections with American foulbrood can destroy entire bee populations. A team of German and Dutch researchers has now isolated metabolic products of the pathogen that causes it, Paenibacillus larvae. The structures of the products have been identified, providing insights into the unusual biosynthetic pathways by which they are made. These new findings could help to clarify the mechanisms of infection and thus to find points of attack for effectively combating bee disease. As the researchers report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, these paenilamicins have antibiotic effects that may also be of use in human medicine.


The honey bee is one of the most important pollinators in our agricultural and subnatural ecosystems. Our supply with fruit, nuts, and vegetables depends significantly on the fact that enough honey bees fly to the flowers of these plants. In recent years, pesticides and other environmental factors have posed massive health threads to bees. Infectious diseases can cause the death of bee populations. The American foulbrood of bees is a frequently encountered notifiable animal disease which causes infected larvae to essentially disintegrate.

Currently, not enough is known about the molecular mechanisms of the infection to effectively combat this disease. A team at the Technical University of Berlin, the Institute for Bee Research in Hohen Neuendorf, and the University of Leiden (Netherlands) has now gained some new insights: The genome of the pathogen contains genes for an interesting class of natural compounds, peptide-polyketide hybrids with antibacterial and antimycotic effects. The researchers found the special biosynthetic pathways for the formation of these metabolites, which does not use ribosomes, to be fascinating.

The team headed by Roderich Süssmuth and Elke Genersch was able to isolate several of these paenilamicins. They were then able to determine their structures and to characterize their amazing bioactivity: The bacteria release these compounds after they have infected bee larvae in order to keep competitors at bay. Paenibacillus larvae thus effectively kills off the bacterium Paenibacillus alvei in the intestines of the larvae, for example.

The scientists hope that their new insights into the paenilamicins and their biosynthetic pathways will lead to new approaches for combating foulbrood. In addition, the antibiotic effects of these substances could be a starting point for the development of novel human and veterinary pharmaceuticals.

About the Author

Dr Roderich Süssmuth is Professor for Chemical Biology at Technische Universität Berlin. His main specialty is the discovery and biosynthesis investigation of new secondary metabolites from microorganisms and their profiling as antiinfective drugs. He is a Fellow of the Cluster of Excellence “UniCat” coordinated by TU Berlin.

Author: Roderich Süssmuth, Technische Universität Berlin (Germany), http://www.biochemie.tu-berlin.de/

Title: Paenilamicin: Structure and Biosynthesis of a Hybrid Nonribosomal Peptide/Polyketide Antibiotic from the Bee Pathogen Paenibacillus larvae

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201404572

Roderich Süssmuth | Angewandte Chemie

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Embryonic development: How do limbs develop from cells?
18.05.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

nachricht Reading histone modifications, an oncoprotein is modified in return
18.05.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>