Navigation Links
Fruit flies show how salmonella escapes immune defenses

Salmonella are wily and obnoxious bacterial invaders--escape artists capable of evading multiple immune responses and causing a harsh and debilitating intestinal infection.

Researchers have come closer to understanding how these bacteria manage to thwart two major categories of immune defenses at once and set up shop in a host organism. New results are reported in the April 2008 issue of the journal Cell Host & Microbe.

The Emory University research team used a transgenic fruit fly (drosophila) model to test a group of "effector proteins," also known as "virulence factors," secreted by invading organisms to usurp the host immune response for their own benefit.

They found that one of these proteins, named AvrA, not only shuts down the key immune signaling pathways JNK and NF-kB, but also turns off the fail safe system organisms have evolved to respond to irreversible threats. This ultimate immune defense, called apoptosis, eliminates invaders along with the infected cells through a system of programmed cell death.

In previous research, the scientists had showed that AvrA could suppress some aspects of immune system signaling in cell culture, but they wanted to study the protein in a whole animal system.

"Bacterial proteins are notoriously difficult to study," says Andrew Neish, MD, Emory professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and the study's lead scientist. "Using the drosophila system allowed us to express bacterial proteins in a controlled fashion. We were able to study salmonella infection and the associated proteins and signaling mechanisms in a whole animal, which gave us information we could not have gained from a cell culture dish."

To evaluate the effects of AvrA in natural salmonella infection in mammals, the scientists used a mouse model of salmonella infection and found that AvrA suppressed the same immune signaling pathways and apoptotic reaction as in the drosophila model. A mutant form of the salmonella lacking the AvrA protein caused an enhanced inflammatory immune response and markedly more cell death in the mouse intestine.

"Using drosophila genetics, we found a biochemical crossroad required for both immune and apoptotic pathways," says Neish. "The AvrA protein is able to key in on the exact site of the biochemical network and allow it to suppress both the inflammatory response and the apoptotic immune response at the same time. We suspect that other pathogens may target the same biochemical network to avoid elimination. These immune pathways in drosophila have been preserved across evolution and are remarkably similar to human immune pathways. This is such a powerful research system that any bacterial or viral genes would be amenable to study through this approach."


Contact: Sarah Goodwin
Emory University

Related biology news :

1. CSHL scientists identify a mechanism that helps fruit flies lock-in memories
2. Like sweets? Youre more like a fruit fly than you think...
3. Crop scientists discover gene that controls fruit shape
4. Researchers create mathematical model of fruit fly eyes
5. The precise role of seminal proteins in sustaining post-mating responses in fruit flies
6. Kids eat more fruits, vegetables when schools offer salad bar
7. Tiny pest-eating insect fights fruit flies
8. Genome comparison of 12 fruit fly species
9. International team compares 12 fruit fly genomes
10. Ripe fruit preferred
11. Chemical in red wine, fruits and vegetables stops cancer, heart disease, depending on the dose
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a ... that it has released a new version of its ... in North America have already ... v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified server ... already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. ... of technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business opportunities ... The Internet of Healthy Things . Long ... even existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners ... delivery, moving care from the hospital or doctor,s office ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 Today, LifeBEAM , a ... 2XU, a global leader in technical performance sports ... with advanced bio-sensing technology. The hat will allow ... key biometrics to improve overall training performance. As ... will bring together the most advanced technology, extensive ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 The ... is a professional and in-depth study on the ...      (Logo: ) , ... industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry chain ... the international markets including development trends, competitive landscape ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific (APAC) ... research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of outsourcing ... lower margins but higher volume share for the ... and scale, however, margins in the CRO industry ... (CRO) Market ( ), finds that ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD ) ... the following conference, and invited investors to participate via ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern ...      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. Eastern ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" ... reported financial results for the quarter ended September ... in Canadian dollars and presented under International Financial ... States ," said Andrew Rae , ... regarding iCo-008 are not only value enriching for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: