Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein Sharpens Salmonella Needle for Attack

16.05.2014

A tiny nanoscale syringe is Salmonella’s weapon. Using this, the pathogen injects its molecular agents into the host cells and manipulates them to its own advantage.

A team of scientists at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel demonstrate in their current publication in Cell Reports that a much investigated protein, which plays a role in Salmonella metabolism, is required to activate these needles and makes the replication and spread of Salmonella throughout the whole body possible.


Section of a Salmonella (yellow) infected spleen (red: red blood cells; blue: neutrophils).

(Fig.: University of Basel, Biozentrum)

The summer months are the prime time for Salmonella infections. Such an infection is caused by the ingestion of contaminated food, for instance ice cream or raw eggs, and can cause severe diarrhea. Salmonella can even cause life-threatening illnesses such as typhoid fever.

For several years, Prof. Dirk Bumann, from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, has been studying the infection mechanisms of Salmonella. Together with his team, he has discovered that the bacterial protein EIIAGlc is not only responsible for the uptake of nutrients, which was previously known, but also plays a central role in Salmonella colonizing the host organism.

New function discovered for well known protein

Salmonella possesses a sophisticated injection apparatus, the type III secretion system. With this molecular syringe, it injects toxins directly into the host cells. These toxins manipulate host cell processes to create optimal growth conditions for the bacteria in hiding. Unforeseen, Bumann and his team uncovered an important teammate in the infection process, the protein EIIAGlc. The protein was already known for its many functions in bacterial metabolism, such as in the uptake of sugars molecules.

The researchers’ attention was attracted by the fact that when EIIAGlc is defective Salmonella completely loses its capacity for intracellular replication and to spread throughout the organism. Further investigations finally brought the scientists from Basel onto the right track. The protein EIIAGlc docks onto the injection apparatus in the bacterium, stabilizes it and finally activates the release of the toxins. “We can clearly demonstrate that the activation of the secretion system is the main function of the protein EIIAGlc, while the many other described metabolic functions play a minor role in the occurrence of illness”, says Bumann bringing his findings to the point.

Target molecule for antibiotic treatment

It is estimated that each year about 16 million people worldwide contract a life-threatening Salmonella infection that affects the whole organism. The spread of the bacteria in the host is highly dependent on the functional capacity of the injection system. “In EIIAGlc, we have found a new potential therapeutic target”, says Bumann. By inhibiting the protein, one could strategically put the infection apparatus out of action. As this injection needle is primarily found in pathogens, infections could be

Original source
Alain Mazé, Timo Glatter, Dirk Bumann
The central metabolism regulator EIIAGlc switches Salmonella from growth arrest to acute virulence through activation of virulence factor secretion
Cell Reports, published online 15 May 2014

Further information
Prof. Dr. Dirk Bumann, University of Basel, Biozentrum, phone: +41 61 267 23 82, email: dirk.bumann@unibas.ch

Katrin Bühler | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch

Further reports about: Biozentrum Cell Protein Salmonella capacity eggs function metabolism protein therapeutic toxins

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A cell senses its own curves: New research from the MBL Whitman Center
29.04.2016 | Marine Biological Laboratory

nachricht A New Discovery in the Fight against Cancer: Tumor Cells Switch to a Different Mode
29.04.2016 | 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: Tiny microbots that can clean up water

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.

Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...

Im Focus: ORNL researchers discover new state of water molecule

Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...

Im Focus: Bionic Lightweight Design researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute at Hannover Messe 2016

Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid

Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...

Im Focus: New world record for fullerene-free polymer solar cells

Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This work is about avoiding costly and unstable fullerenes.

Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin glass is up and coming

As one of the leading R&D partners in the development of surface technologies and organic electronics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP will be exhibiting its recent achievements in vacuum coating of ultra-thin glass at SVC TechCon 2016 (Booth 846), taking place in Indianapolis / USA from May 9 – 13.

Fraunhofer FEP is an experienced partner for technological developments, known for testing the limits of new materials and for optimization of those materials...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The “AC21 International Forum 2016” is About to Begin

27.04.2016 | Event News

Soft switching combines efficiency and improved electro-magnetic compatibility

15.04.2016 | Event News

Grid-Supportive Buildings Give Boost to Renewable Energy Integration

12.04.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Winds a quarter the speed of light spotted leaving mysterious binary systems

29.04.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Fiber optic biosensor-integrated microfluidic chip to detect glucose levels

29.04.2016 | Health and Medicine

A cell senses its own curves: New research from the MBL Whitman Center

29.04.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>