Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study reveals a way disease bacteria sense antimicrobials and initiate a counter-defense

19.08.2005


Many living things, from fruit flies to people, naturally produce disease-fighting chemicals, called antimicrobial peptides, to kill harmful bacteria. In a counter move, some disease-causing bacteria have evolved microbial detectors. The bacteria sense the presence of antimicrobial peptides as a warning signal. The alarm sets off a reaction inside the bacteria to avoid destruction.



University of Washington (UW) and McGill researchers have revealed a molecular mechanism whereby bacteria can recognize tiny antimicrobial peptide molecules, then respond by becoming more virulent. Their studies were done on the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium. The findings were published in the Aug. 12 edition of the journal Cell.

Salmonella typhimurium can contaminate meats such as beef, pork, and chicken, as well as cereals and other foods, and cause severe intestinal illness. Certain strains of the bacteria are difficult to treat, and are behind the increase of salmonellosis in people. Some food science institutes anticipate that virulent strains of salmonella will become more common throughout the food chain. Learning how this sometimes deadly organism fights back against the immune system may lead to treatments that get around bacterial resistance.


Work in this area may also suggest ways other disease-causing Gram-negative bacteria maintain a stronghold in the midst of the body’s attempts to get rid of them.

Strangely enough, the same molecules that the body sends out to help destroy salmonella inadvertently launch bacterial defenses. It is as if missles armed, rather than demolished, the target. The body’s antimicrobial peptides bind to an enzyme, PhoQ, which acts as a watchtower and interceptor near the surface of bacterial cell membranes. The peptide binding activates PhoQ, which sets off a cascade of signals. The signals turn on a large set of bacterial genes. Some of the genes are responsible for products that fortify the bacterial cell surface and protect the bacteria from being killed.

The research was done in the UW laboratory of Dr. Samuel Miller, professor of microbiology and of medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases. The MIller Lab explores the molecular aspects of bacteria-induced illness, and how disease-causing bacteria interact with cells in the host they have infected, and adapt to environments inside the body, such as the airway.

The lead author of the Aug.12 Cell article was Dr. Martin Bader, a UW senior fellow in microbiology and genome sciences. The research team, under the direction of Miller, included Dr. Sarah Sanowar of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University; Dr. Margaret Daley, a UW senior fellow in biochemistry; Anna SChneider, a UW undergraduate majoring in mathematics and biochemistry; Uhn Soo Cho, a graduate studenty in biological structure; Dr. Wenqing Xu, assistant professor of biological structure; Dr. Rachel Klevit, professor of biochemistry; and Dr. Herve Le Moual on the McGill Faculty of Dentistry.

Grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded the study.

Leila Gray | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.washington.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

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...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

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...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

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...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>