The study could help in the development of new treatments for serious heart conditions such as infective endocarditis.
The researchers studied the way a protein found on the surface of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus binds to a human protein called fibronectin. Their discovery is an important step in understanding how bacteria attach to the surface of blood vessels during infection.
The high-resolution structures of parts of the bacterial protein in complex with multiple fibronectin domains reveals the efficiency with which the bacterial molecule can bind several copies of the human protein, a feature thought to play a role in infection.
Dr Jennifer Potts of the Departments of Biology and Chemistry at York, who led the research said: "Interactions of S. aureus with fibronectin were first reported more than 30 years ago, and yet we still don’t understand precisely how and why the bacteria target this human protein.
"Our studies provide a significant step toward solving that issue and could help the future development of new treatments for rare but serious conditions such as infective endocarditis, an infection of the lining or valves of the heart."
The research is published in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
The work, which was funded by the British Heart Foundation, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust, was undertaken by Dr Richard Bingham and Dr Nicola Meenan (Biology, York) in collaboration with other scientists at the Universities of York, Oxford, St Andrews, UNAM and the TAMU Health Science Centre, Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Houston.
The research used the York Structural Biology Laboratory (YSBL) at the University of York and facilities at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble.
David Garner | alfa
The Secret of the Rock Drawings
24.05.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
Chemical juggling with three particles
24.05.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2019 | Life Sciences