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Biologists discover bacterial defense mechanism against aggressive oxygen
Date:11/20/2009

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Oxygen, a necessary evil

Oxygen is vital to the respiration of almost all cells. Among other things, the cells use the gas in the process of burning sugars to produce energy. But oxygen is a very aggressive molecule and can do serious harm to the cell's building blocks. This damage can be compared to the rusting or oxidation of iron. "Sulfurous proteins are extra-sensitive to oxidation," explains Joris Messens (VIB / the Vrije Universiteit Brussel). "If they become oxidized, they lose their functioning. This research clarifies how the cell arms itself against this event. Scientists have wondered for a long time what the function of DsbG and DsbC is and the difference between them. Now, finally, we have an answer."


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Contact: Joris Gansemans
joris.gansemans@vib.be
32-472-594-067
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

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