Navigation Links
Energy-saving bacteria resist antibiotics

Bacteria save energy by producing proteins that moonlight, having different roles at different times, which may also protect the microbes from being killed. The moonlighting activity of one enzyme from the tuberculosis bacterium makes it partially resistant to a family of broad-spectrum antibiotics, according to a paper published in the September issue of the journal Microbiology.

"Glutamate racemase, or MurI, is an enzyme that bacteria use to make the building blocks of cell walls," said Professor Valakunja Nagaraja from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India. "MurI from Mycobacterium tuberculosis also stops the enzyme DNA gyrase from working, which in turn stops DNA replication and cell division."

The researchers found that the two different functions work independently of one another the enzyme's ability to make cell wall components does not affect its ability to inhibit DNA gyrase and vice versa.

DNA gyrase is involved in DNA replication, which happens when bacteria reproduce. A family of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones target this enzyme, killing the bacteria that cause infections such as cholera, anthrax, gonorrhoea, meningitis, E. coli and MRSA. The researchers found that when MurI binds to DNA gyrase, it takes gyrase away from substrate DNA. Because of this, antibiotics cannot bind and stop it from working, so the bacteria become resistant to treatment.

"Our findings suggest that MurI has a role in safeguarding DNA gyrase from attack by antibiotics," said Professor Nagaraja. "The moonlighting activity of MurI seems to have evolved more recently to protect and control DNA gyrase."

MurI is not alone in its moonlighting activities; other bacterial enzymes and proteins also carry out different functions. But why has this ability evolved? "Multifunctional proteins are mostly common enzymes that have acquired different roles over the long period of their existence," said Professor Nagaraja. "As long as these additional roles do not interfere with the original function of the protein, they could benefit the cell by providing a competitive advantage during evolution."

By having multifunctional enzymes, a cell has fewer proteins to build, therefore less DNA to replicate. This means they save a great deal of energy in growth and reproduction. Moonlighting proteins can also control cellular activities, such as DNA replication in the case of MurI.

"An alarming increase in the emergence of multi-drug resistant strains of M. tuberculosis has led to an active search for novel drug targets," said Professor Nagaraja. "Our results may help us to discover molecules to target MurI, to prevent bacteria from making cell walls and develop a successful treatment for a wide range of bacterial infections."


Contact: Lucy Goodchild
Society for General Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. Shuttle brings space-grown strep bacteria back for study
2. The worlds oldest bacteria
3. Bacteria from sponges make new pharmaceuticals
4. Boston University biomedical engineers find chink in bacterias armor
5. University of Leicester scientists discover technique to help friendly bacteria
6. Spaceflight shown to alter ability of bacteria to cause disease
7. A tiny pinch from a z-ring helps bacteria cells divide
8. Legionnaires bacterial proteins work together to survive
9. Scripps research team blocks bacterial communication system to prevent deadly staph infections
10. NSF awards Stevens team $1 million for research on smart, bacteria-repellent nanohydrogels
11. Chemical compound present in detergents produce bacteria alterations in agricultural soils
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 The research team of The Hong ... fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and ... speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, ... ... A research team led ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company ... North America , today announced a Series ... acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates ... tools to transform population health activities through the collection ... higi collects and secures data today on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt of a ... RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the first commercially ... microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. The NIH,s ... accelerate development of approaches to analyze the heterogeneity of ... techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in individual cells ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions to ... symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory science, ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics in an ... on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people by 2050, ... a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources are becoming ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... line of medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating ... Kindred takes place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley ...
Breaking Biology Technology: