Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Yale researchers uncover secrets of salmonella's stealth attack

A single crafty protein allows the deadly bacterium Salmonella enterica to both invade cells lining the intestine and hijack cellular functions to avoid destruction, Yale researchers report in the April 17 issue of the journal Cell.

This evolutionary slight-of-hand sheds new insights into the lethal tricks of Salmonella, which kills more than 2 million people a year.

"In evolutionary terms, this hijacking of cellular machinery to diversify the function of a bacterial protein is mind boggling,'' said Jorge Galan, senior author of the paper and the Lucille P. Markey Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and Cell Biology and chair of microbial pathogenesis at Yale.

Salmonella causes disease when it takes control of cells lining the intestinal track using its own specialized "nano-syringe" called a type III secretion system. Using this structure, Salmonella injects bacterial proteins that mimic proteins of the host cell and help the pathogen avoid destruction.

The Yale study describes the crucial role a bacterial protein called SopB plays in both Salmonella's forced entry into the cell and its subsequent internal camouflage act. First, SopB works within the external membrane of the cell, called the plasma membrane, to coax the cell into taking in the pathogen, which is then encapsulated within a tiny bubble-like compartment called a vesicle.

SopB's second trick helps prevent the vesicle from being sucked into the lyosome, the organelle within the cell that degrades proteins. In order to accomplish this, SopB must move from the plasma membrane of the cell to the membrane of the internal vesicle containing the pathogen. The Yale group found that Salmonella coaxes the cell to "mark" the SopB protein with a tag called ubiquitin. Addition of this tag makes the bacterial protein recognizable to the cellular machinery that normally moves proteins from the plasma membranes to internal vesicles.

"These studies provide a unique insight into the mechanisms by which this important pathogen causes disease," Galan said. "In addition, this finding may point to a novel paradigm that may be applicable to other important pathogens."

Other Yale authors of the paper are Jayesh C. Patel, Karsten Hueffer, and Tukiet T. Lam.

The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health

Bill Hathaway | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microbe hunters discover long-sought-after iron-munching microbe
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für marine Mikrobiologie

nachricht Seeking balanced networks: how neurons adjust their proteins during homeostatic scaling.
24.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Seeking balanced networks: how neurons adjust their proteins during homeostatic scaling.

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

More VideoLinks >>>