The team of researchers, including Magdalene “Maggie” So, a member of the BIO5 Institute and the department of immunobiology in the UA College of Medicine, studied Type IV pili – or filaments – on the surface of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium that causes the infectious disease gonorrhea.
The research results help them understand the role that Type IV pili play in initiating a variety of infectious diseases – including tuberculosis – and how retracting pili allow bacteria to crawl and to exchange genes with each other.
When a bundle of Type IV pili retracts, it pulls with a force in the nanoNewton range, which is 10 times the force of a single retracting filament. The study demonstrates the power and cooperative nature of the nanomotors that cause Type IV pili to retract.
“The motor that causes these filaments to pull is one of the strongest nanomotors known in biology,” So said.
In previous studies, the same group of investigators measured single filament retraction forces in the 50 to 100 picoNewton range. This force allows the bacterium to move an object 10,000 times its own body weight. Retraction forces from a bundle are roughly 10 times higher, allowing the bacterium to move objects 100,000 times its body weight.
Pilus retraction forces are an important factor in how N. gonorrhoeae starts an infection. So, who has studied these microbes for more than 20 years, says N. gonorrhoeae communicates with a human cell by pulling on it. These pulling forces perturb the normal circuitry of the cell. As a result, the infected cell is fooled into lowering its defenses against the infecting microbe.
So said that the team of investigators came up with a new method to measure the tremendous forces applied by retracting pili. They allow bacteria to sit on a dense brushwork of tiny elastic pillars. The pili attach to these pillars. When pili retract, they bend the pillars. By measuring how the pillars bend, the investigators calculate the retraction forces.
Deborah Daun | EurekAlert!
Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal
22.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
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...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
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...
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...
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...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology