The toxin, produced by certain strains of E. coli bacteria, has been found to be responsible for an outbreak of haemolytic uraemic syndrome, a dangerous disease that causes acute kidney failure, in South Australia in 1998.
The research team was led by Dr Adrienne Paton from the University of Adelaide, and included scientists from Monash University's ARC Centre of Excellence in Structural and Functional Microbial Genomics, and the United States.
Dr Travis Beddoe from Monash University's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is one of the investigators who discovered that the bacterial toxin, subtilase cytotoxin, deactivates an essential component of cells in the gastrointestinal tract.
"It is unique because it cuts an essential component of the cell machinery in half, therefore disabling it," he said.
As well as learning how the toxin works, the scientists have also determined its three-dimensional structure, which will aid in the development of treatments for toxin-related diseases.
"This toxin belongs to the family of toxins that cause whooping cough, a very serious bacterial infection that affects children," Dr Beddoe said.
He said the research breakthrough may also provide insights into the development of age-related and degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, and may be used in the treatment of some cancers.
The collaborative research was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. The research findings are published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.
For more information contact Ms Robyn Anns, Media Communications on +61 3 9905 9317 or 0417 568 781.
Penny Fannin | EurekAlert!
Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences