Some pathogenic bacteria have a complex injection device made of many proteins. This molecular syringe has to be attached across two membranes so that proteins can be passed from the bacterial cells into human cells.
Until now, scientists thought that the position of a key lipoprotein component of the syringe was determined by one or two specific amino acids as is true for all other bacterial lipoproteins. But research led by Dr Gregory Plano at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine suggests that location is not always determined by these previously identified sorting signals.
“The YscJ lipoprotein in Yersinia pestis is an essential part of the injection device,” says Dr Plano. “It serves as a platform for the syringe to be built on and it is a major component of the structure that links the two bacterial cell membranes together. The sequence of YscJ suggests that it should be attached to the outer membrane, but it is actually attached to the inner membrane of the bacterial cell.” Instead of being controlled by a few key amino acids, the location of the YscJ lipoprotein is determined by the presence of a specific section of the protein.
Injection devices help pathogenic bacteria to survive in our bodies by injecting proteins that stop our immune cells from communicating and launching an attack. Some bacteria that are beneficial to plants and animals also use these devices to evade their hosts’ immune systems.
Understanding this mechanism tells us more about how Yersinia pestis causes plague. “We now want to find out why the YscJ protein uses this unusual mechanism instead of the traditional method used by other lipoproteins,” says Dr Plano.
Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel
The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering