Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University, the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and Yale University reported in PLoS ONE, a way in which intracellular pathogens exploit the biological attributes of their hosts in order to escape destruction.
Intracellular pathogens include Chlamydia, which causes infertility in women, and Legionella, which causes Legionnaire’s disease. These pathogens are able to escape destruction and remain in the cells. Until now, it was unclear how they were able avoid the destruction process. The team of researchers, led by Fabienne Paumet, Ph.D., assistant professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, found that it appears to be due to SNARE-like proteins expressed by the pathogen.
SNARE proteins are necessary for eukaryotic cells to fuse to their intracellular compartments. These proteins, which are present on the surface of almost all intracellular compartments, interact to form a stable complex, triggering fusion of the membranes. Intracellular pathogens, like Chlamydia and Legionella, must contend with vesicular trafficking and membrane fusion in the host cell. But they manage to bypass the lysosome, where other pathogens would normally be destroyed.
The researchers tested the hypothesis that SNARE-like proteins expressed by the bacteria themselves were capable to interact with the eukaryotic SNAREs and alter membrane fusion to their advantage. The Chlamydia bacteria expressed a SNARE-like protein called IncA and the Legionella expressed a SNARE-like protein called IcmG/DotF, both of which inhibit SNARE-protein-mediated fusion.
“Based on our results, it seems that intracellular bacteria are able to express ‘inhibitory SNAREs’ to block fusion between the lysosome and the compartment containing the bacteria,” Dr. Paumet said. “The SNARE proteins function like a zipper, and without each half, they can’t fuse.”
SNARE-like bacterial proteins would appear to be a viable therapeutic target, since disruption of their protective function should render intracellular bacteria more susceptible to clearance from the phagosome.
“Thorough understanding of the bacterial SNARE-like protein system will give us the necessary tools to design such therapeutics,” Dr. Paumet said.
Emily Shafer | Newswise Science News
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy