Navigation Links
Anthrax cellular entry point uncovered
Date:1/25/2008

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. The long-sought-after biological gateway that anthrax uses to enter healthy cells has been uncovered by microbiologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Anthrax spores enter the cell through something called Mac-1, a receptor that sits on the surface of certain cells.

This is the first study to uncover exactly how the bacteria get inside cells to begin with, the UAB researchers said. Previous studies have shown what happens after anthrax spores enter the body and wreak havoc.

Unraveling the anthrax-Mac-1 gateway is a milestone in the ongoing efforts to protect humans from bioterrorism and biological warfare, the UAB microbiologists said. Such a discovery will speed the development of new drugs and vaccines to fight or prevent anthrax infection, and advance the understanding of bacterial infection.

The findings are published in the online version of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and will soon appear in a print edition.

We know anthrax infection can occur in wild and domestic animals, but in humans this disease is extremely rare and very dangerous. It is a bioweapon, said John Kearney, Ph.D., a professor in the UAB Department of Microbiology and co-author on the study. This study reveals the biological paradigm that makes the anthrax spore clever enough to target the Mac-1 receptor, and use this entry point to boost its lethality.

Bacillus anthracis infection occurs in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation and through swallowing spores. The skin infection is the most common type and can be treated with antibiotics if diagnosed rapidly.

The more serious form is inhalation anthrax, which was diagnosed in a few adults during the anthrax scare after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks against the United States.

In the UAB study, researchers worked under strict bio-safe conditions to infect cultures of cells and laboratory-bred mice with a strain of anthrax often used in research.

Infection rates and other observations were significant enough to convince the microbiologists anthrax relies on Mac-1 to do its damage inside healthy cells.

By showing how anthrax spores recognize Mac-1 receptors, this discovery points toward a precise entry point which B. anthracis uses to proliferate and trigger lethal consequences, said Claudia Oliva, Ph.D., and Melissa Swiecki, Ph.D., both researchers in the UAB Department of Microbiology and co-lead authors on the study.


'/>"/>

Contact: Troy Goodman
tdgoodman@uab.edu
205-934-8938
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Using carbon nanotubes to seek and destroy anthrax toxin and other harmful proteins
2. Team IDs weakness in anthrax bacteria
3. Bioengineers at University of Pennsylvania devise nanoscale system to measure cellular forces
4. Boston College profs study oxidative stress subcellular to discover its role in diseases
5. Studying component parts of living cells with carbon nanotube cellular probes
6. Story ideas from Molecular & Cellular Proteomics
7. e-Science points to pollution solutions
8. Salmon garnish points the way to green electronics
9. NIH awards UC $9 million grant to improve patient point-of-care technologies
10. Research points towards early cancer detection
11. New thoracic imaging approach can pinpoint underlying venous problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2017)... FRANCISCO and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. ... , "Eating Well Made Simple," and 23andMe , ... help guide better food choices.  Zipongo can now provide ... their food preferences, health goals and biometrics, but also ... certain food choices. Zipongo,s personalized food decision ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... , March 2, 2017 Summary ... understand Perrigo and its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... Read ... Deals and Alliance since 2010 report provides an in-depth insight ... life sciences companies. On demand company reports are ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE), a leading supplier ... P. Moberg has resigned, effective March 3, 2017, ... Officer and Treasurer of Aware citing a desire to ... member of the Board of Directors of Aware. ... Officer and co-President, General Counsel has been named Chief ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017  Agriculture technology company Cool Planet has ... note conversion to commercialize its Cool Terra and Cool ... developing products that are simultaneously profitable as well as ... last 18 months. This latest round of funding was ... The company,s primary product, Cool Terra, ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN), today announced ... U.K. Biobank and GSK to generate genetic sequence data from ... initiative will enable researchers to gain valuable insights to support ... range of serious and life threatening diseases. ... Genetic evidence has ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... SANTA MONICA, Calif. , March 22, 2017 ... Council (MassMEDIC) are proud to announce their extended partnership ... Week will be headlined by the 21 st ... UBM,s BIOMEDevice Boston, taking place May 3-4, 2017. ... with Advanced Medical Technology Association (ADVAMED) President and ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017   iSpecimen ®, the marketplace ... Pathology Service (DPS), a full-service anatomic pathology reference ... United States , has joined a program offered ... (DHIN) to make human biospecimens and associated data ... program, announced in 2015 as a collaboration between iSpecimen ...
Breaking Biology Technology: