Navigation Links
Discovery increases understanding how bacteria spread: U of A study
Date:6/20/2012

A University of Alberta researcher is moving closer to understanding how infection is caused by the spread of bacteria.

In a study published in the high-impact Cell Press journal called Structure, Joel Weiner and his collaborators, Gerd Prehna and Natalie Stynadka at the University of British Columbia, share new knowledge about how bacteria release proteins.

Proteins are complex molecules that perform all sorts of functions in the cells of living things. The group studied a specific protein called YebF in E. coli bacteria. It is widely found in other bacteria as well.

Solving the structure and understanding the mechanism by which this protein spreads bacterial pathogens was a big step forward. As humans develop more resistance to antibiotics, researchers are in search of new ways to stop bacteria from spreading.

"Most pathogenic bacteria induce special structures in order to release proteins that allow them to infect a host," said Weiner of the Department of Biochemistry, whose lab is funded by the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. "What we show here is that normal, run-of-the-mill bacteria can actually release a protein through the pores [of the bacterial membrane] which are normally there to take in small molecules."

YebF proved to be an interesting protein molecule because in addition to its release through the bacterial pore, which is the most recent discovery, it has the unique property of secreting "passenger proteins" that are attached to it. This unique property was a prior discovery patented by the U of A because it has potential use for the production of protein-based drugs by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.

"What we found in the structure is that there are regions that are very flexible in YebF that seem to be very important in getting it out of the bacteria," said Weiner. "If you make mutants in those regions you can prevent the protein from going out.

"We're not investing enough in identifying new targets for antibiotics," he said. "What this system does suggests a new target. We're looking at drugs that could block the ability of YebF to go out.

"That's really easy to test for," he added. Because the screen is easy, it's good for pharmaceutical companies."

This step in the research took several years, because solving the structure of this protein wasn't easy. The lab typically uses crystallization but stubborn YebF wouldn't work, so instead they had to use nuclear magnetic resonance.

Typically researchers know what action takes place and they try to find the protein that triggers it. In this case the researchers have been working the opposite direction. They have the protein, YebF, but they need to find out its purpose in the cell.


'/>"/>

Contact: Quinn Phillips
quinn.phillips@ualberta.ca
780-248-2048
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. NSF Leadership in Discovery and Innovation sparks White House US Ignite Initiative
2. Groundbreaking discovery of the cellular origin of cervical cancer
3. Astellas and DNDi to collaborate on new drug discovery research for the treatment of NTDs
4. New discovery provides insight on long-standing pregnancy mystery
5. Speeding up drug discovery with rapid 3-D mapping of proteins
6. La Jolla Institute discovery could lead to new way to screen drugs for adverse reactions
7. A whale of a discovery: New sensory organ found in rorqual whales
8. Novel discovery by NUS scientists paves the way for more effective treatment of cancers
9. Discovery of mechanisms predicting response to new treatments in colon cancer
10. DNA barcoding verified the discovery of a highly disconnected crane fly species
11. Understanding the RNAi Reagents Market Overlap with Drug Discovery and Therapeutic Development is Critical for Pharmaceutical Leaders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/17/2016)... INDUSTRY, Calif. , Nov. 17, 2016  AIC announces that it has just ... servers in organizations that require high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer storage solutions. ... ... ... Setting up a ...
(Date:11/15/2016)...  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), a ... gut microbiome, today announced the pricing of an ... common stock and warrants to purchase 50,000,000 shares ... the public of $1.00 per share and accompanying ... offering, excluding the proceeds, if any from the ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ... in providing critical wireless communications for use in challenging ... ended September 30, 2016. Management will hold a conference ... at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (details below). ... announced a $16 million binding agreement to acquire Vislink ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016  The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) today ... Study SM —the largest and most comprehensive study driving ... myeloma—will be presented at the 58 th American ... San Diego from December 3-6. ... as well as identify pathways and targets for new ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... ACEA Biosciences, Inc. announced today that it will be presenting ... the World Conference on Lung Cancer 2016, taking place in Vienna, Austria December 3rd-8th. ... trials for AC0010 in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer harboring the EGFR ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... event is expanding to three days and will take place on February 1-3, 2017 ... (GSK) and Dr James Gulley (NCI), the program provides a unique 360-degree approach, which ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... Robots ... Light Event on December 3rd, 2016. The event, which is held on the ... work with helping Americans with Disabilities back into the workplace. Suitable Technologies is partnering ...
Breaking Biology Technology: