Navigation Links
Disarming disease-causing bacteria

Scientists could produce new antibacterial treatments by disarming the molecular pumps bacteria use to bring disease causing molecules in contact with animals and humans.

Research published today in Nature Structure and Molecular Biology showed a protein complex called the Translocation and Assembly Module (TAM), forms a type of molecular pump, allowing bacteria to shuttle key disease causing molecules from inside the bacterial cell where they are made, to the outside surface, priming the bacteria to infect other organisms.

The international research collaboration, led by Monash University, paves the way for future studies to design new drugs that inhibit this process.

The TAM was discovered in many disease-causing bacteria, from micro-organisms that cause whooping cough and meningitis, to hospital-acquired bacteria that are developing resistance to current antibiotics.

The Monash team, led by Professor Trevor Lithgow from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, showed the TAM was made of two protein parts, TamA and TamB, which function together to form a machine of molecular scale.

Lead author and PhD student Joel Selkrig said the team, with colleagues at the University of Melbourne, compared mutant strains of bacteria engineered to have no TAM, to normal virulent bacteria.

"We noticed that proteins important for disease were missing in the outer membrane of the mutant bacteria," Mr Selkrig said.

"The missing proteins help the bacteria to adhere to our bodies and perform disease-related functions."

Mr Selkrig said the next step for the group was to dissect the molecular mechanism of how the TAM complex functions and, in collaboration with researchers at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, design an antibiotic that inhibits the TAM in bacteria.

"The TAM is a good antibacterial target because a drug designed to inhibit TAM function would not kill bacteria, it would simply deprive them of their molecular weaponry, and in doing so, disable the disease process," Mr Selkrig said.

"By allowing bacteria to stay alive after antibiotic treatment, we believe we can also prevent the emergence of antibiotic resistance, which is fast-becoming a major problem worldwide."

Professor Lithgow led a team of seven Monash researchers, and scientists from the University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, the University of Glasgow and University of Birmingham.


Contact: Emily Walker
Monash University

Related biology news :

1. Disarming specialized stem cells might combat deadly ovarian cancer
2. Disease-causing strains of Fusarium prevalent in plumbing drains
3. UC Davis researchers find disease-causing fat cells in those with metabolic syndrome
4. New research shows how disease-causing parasite gets around human innate immunity
5. Research targets basic metabolism of disease-causing fungi, bacteria
6. New plastic-like materials may say shhhh to hush disease-causing microbes
7. Scientists gain new understanding of disease-causing bacteria
8. NJIT professor finds engineering technique to identify disease-causing genes
9. Bacterial shock to recapture essential phosphate
10. From scourge to saint: E. coli bacteria becomes a factory - to make cheaper, faster pharmaceuticals
11. Team discovers how bacteria resist a Trojan horse antibiotic
Post Your Comments:
(Date:8/23/2017)... general public,s help is being enlisted in what,s thought to be the ... the human body –and are believed to affect health.  ... The Microbiome Immunity Project is the largest study to ... The project's goal is to help advance scientific knowledge of the role ... The ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... N.Y. , June 23, 2017  IBM (NYSE: ... dairy research, today announced a new collaboration using next-generation ... chances that the global milk supply is impacted by ... Cornell University has become the newest academic institution to ... a food safety initiative that includes IBM Research, Mars, ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017   Bridge Patient Portal ... and MD EMR Systems , an electronic ... for GE, have established a partnership to build ... and the GE Centricity™ products, including Centricity Practice ... These new integrations will allow healthcare ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... SANTA CRUZ, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... SBIR grant from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single ... preparation kit for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from ... Cell Analysis Program highlights the need to accelerate development ... "New techniques for ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions ... scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics in ... 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people by ... feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources are ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The ... medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana ... place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: