A new type of protein discovered by Queen’s University researchers may be useful in developing treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as those that cause food poisoning and typhoid.
By solving the structure and activity of the protein – called YihE or RdoA – a team of professors and students from the departments of Biochemistry and Microbiology & Immunology has opened up possibilities for new drug development.
“Our group is the first to solve the structure and to begin to understand the function of this particular protein,” says Dr. Nancy Martin (Microbiology & Immunology), who coordinated the study with Dr. Zongchao Jia (Biochemistry). “It turns out to be a potentially good target in a wide range of bacteria that cause infectious diseases.” Because of the increasing number of antibiotic-resistant strains of many different types of bacteria, such as salmonella, she notes, new approaches to antibiotic therapy are needed.
The Queen’s findings are published in the on-line edition of the journal Molecular Microbiology. Also on the team, from Biochemistry, are PhD student Jimin Zheng and post-doctoral fellow Vinay Singh; and Microbiology & Immunology Master’s student Chunhua He.
The group is studying sensory pathways used by bacteria that enter our bodies and move from the stomach into the gastro-intestinal tract. “If we can block the sensory pathway, then the bacteria can’t adapt to that change in their environment, and won’t be able to infect,” says Dr. Martin.
In North America, the people treated for food poisoning with drugs tend to be elderly or “immune compromised” where there is a need for antibiotics to clear the infection. Since the organism that causes salmonellosis is related to that responsible for typhoid fever – a huge problem in less developed countries – the model being developed at Queen’s could potentially be a target for treating typhoid as well. The underlying goal is to control, if not clear, the infection.
“It’s basic science that we are doing, but we’re using that as a foundation for trying to develop approaches that will have positive impacts on human health,” says Dr. Martin.
Nancy Dorrance | EurekAlert!
Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University
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...
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...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Machine Engineering
17.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering