Navigation Links
Dartmouth researchers describe how the cholera bacteria becomes infectious
Date:2/12/2010

HANOVER, NH In a new study, Dartmouth researchers describe the structure of a protein called ToxT that controls the virulent nature of Vibrio cholerae, the bacteria that causes cholera. Buried within ToxT, the researchers were surprised to find a fatty acid that appears to inhibit ToxT, which prevents the bacteria from causing cholera. Cholera, which causes acute diarrhea, can be life threatening, and, according to the World Health Organization, cholera remains a serious threat to global health.

Doctors have known that bile, found in the intestine, inhibits the expression of the virulence genes in V. cholerae, but until now, the mechanism behind this was not completely understood. This study provides a direct link between the environment of the gut and the regulation of virulence genes, and it also identifies the regulatory molecule.

"Finding a fatty acid in the structure was quite a surprise," says F. Jon Kull, associate professor of chemistry at Dartmouth and senior author on the paper. Kull is also a 1988 graduate of Dartmouth. "The exciting thing about this finding is that we might be able to use a small, natural molecule to treat and/or prevent cholera. We will also use the structure of the fatty acid as a framework to try and design a small molecule inhibitor of ToxT."

The study, "Structure of Vibrio cholerae ToxT reveals mechanism for fatty acid regulation of virulence genes," appeared in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week of February 1.

Kull's co-authors on the paper are Michael Lowden and Maria Pellegrini with the Department of Chemistry at Dartmouth; Michael Chiorazzo, a summer undergraduate research fellow; and Karen Skorupski and Ronald Taylor with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Dartmouth Medical School.

The researchers used X-ray crystallography to determine the structure of ToxT. The process involves taking DNA from V. cholerae and using non-pathogenic E. coli bacteria to produce large amounts of the target protein, in this case, ToxT. Once protein has been purified, it is concentrated and crystallized. Then the crystal, which is an ordered array of protein molecules, is subjected to a powerful X-ray beam. The pattern of diffracted X-rays is collected on a detector and then analyzed using mathematical algorithms, eventually revealing the atomic structure of the protein.

Co-author Taylor also notes that "The results of the study are exciting from the points of view of both the mechanistic aspect of the complex regulation of V. cholerae virulence gene expression and the potential medical impact as we now move forward to apply this new knowledge to influence this mechanism to control infection in humans."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sue Knapp
sue.knapp@dartmouth.edu
603-646-3661
Dartmouth College
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Dartmouth researchers get personal with genetics
2. Dartmouth researchers find new protein function
3. Dartmouth workshop sets research agenda for environmental mercury
4. Dartmouth awarded NSF grant for new polar sciences, engineering grad program
5. Dartmouth researchers identify an important gene for a healthy, nutritious plant
6. Dartmouth researchers discover gene signatures for scleroderma
7. Dartmouth researchers find the root of the evolutionary emergence of vertebrates
8. Dartmouth researchers alarmed by levels of mercury and arsenic in Chinese freshwater ecosystem
9. Dartmouth researchers show effects of low dose arsenic on development
10. Researchers develop dietary formula that maintains youthful function into old age
11. Queens researchers propose rethinking renewable energy strategy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... size is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion ... Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing ... applications are expected to drive the market growth. ... , The development of advanced multimodal ...
(Date:6/7/2016)...  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union ... integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into ... result in greater convenience for SACU members and ... existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Liquid Biotech USA , Inc. ... Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ("PENN") ... patients.  The funding will be used to assess ... outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety of ... to support the design of a therapeutic, decision-making ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority ... as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use ... height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   Boston Biomedical , an industry ... to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its ... Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug ... including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an ... cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Peel Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute ... platform of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: