Navigation Links
'Missing link' discovered in the defence mechanism of the tuberculosis pathogen
Date:11/14/2012

Brussels, 14 November 2012 Flemish biologists lead by Joris Messens (VIB / Vrije Universiteit Brussel) have discovered that Mycobacterium tuberculosis the bacterium that causes tuberculosis has an ingenious defence mechanism against oxygen. This knowledge is important in the search for a treatment for tuberculosis. 9.4 million people are infected with tuberculosis annually and 1.7 million people die as a result.

Joris Messens: "We have discovered how Mycobacterium survives the oxygen stress in our body, namely with the aid of the protein mycoredoxin-1. This opens up a whole new field of research into the role of this protein during a tuberculosis infection. A better understanding of this mechanism will enable us to combat this bacterium more selectively".

Oxygen, a necessary evil

Oxygen is essential for the respiration of nearly all cells. They use this gas to burn sugars in order to produce energy. However, oxygen is also very aggressive and can seriously affect proteins the building blocks of the cell in a manner similar to rust or oxidation of iron.

Attacking essential proteins

Our immune system uses reactive oxygen molecules in the defence against intruders, for example against Mycobacterium. Proteins are particularly sensitive to the effects of oxygen (oxidation). Proteins with sulphur-containing components are particularly sensitive and become inactive with oxidation. Following damage by oxygen, Mycobacterium places the mycothiol molecule on such proteins. After a period of oxygen stress this molecule has to be removed again for the proper functioning of the protein. It was not known how this happened, until now.

Protection and recovery

Joris Messens and his team have discovered that Mycobacterium tuberculosis protects sulphur-containing proteins in a unique way and actively repairs these proteins once the oxygen stress disappears. They discovered the protein mycoredoxin-1, which forms the basis of this ingenious repair mechanism. The scientists analysed the protein structure and the function of the protein and found that mycoredoxin-1 selectively removes mycothiol from affected sulphur-containing proteins and thereby ensures the activation of these proteins. Joris Messens: "We could combat tuberculosis more effectively by searching for components that disable mycoredoxin-1. The bacterium would not be able to recover as quickly from an oxygen attack by our immune system."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joris Messens
info@vib.be
32-478-911-288
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UCLA researchers discover missing link between stem cells and immune system
2. What we know and dont know about Earths missing biodiversity
3. Researchers discover first gene linked to missing spleen in newborns
4. Uranium exposure linked to increased lupus rate
5. Gene variations linked to lung cancer susceptibility in Asian women
6. USF researchers identify gene mutation linked to old age hearing loss
7. New study confirms erroneous link between XMRV and prostate cancer-contamination was the cause
8. Sinusitis linked to microbial diversity
9. Newly discovered letters and translated German ode expand Texas link to infamous Bone Wars
10. 10 new diabetes gene links offer picture of biology underlying disease
11. BUSM/VA Boston Healthcare System investigators identify new gene linked to PTSD
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/14/2017)... -- IBM (NYSE: IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner ... developing collaboration between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... event, nine startups will showcase the solutions they have built ... France is one of ... 30 percent increase in the number of startups created between ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... RAM Group , Singaporean based ... in biometric authentication based on a novel  ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based on ... Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will have ... and security. Ram Group is a next generation ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K ... Commission. ... 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s ... the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Nanomedical Diagnostics ... biotherapeutics development, announces the launch of the new NHS Agile biosensor chip ... binding data for a wide range of molecules, including small and large molecules, ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Kenall, a ... downlights designed to stay tightly sealed and perform efficiently for years. The downlights ... location listings just aren't enough, such as: hospitals; behavioral health facilities; cleanrooms; containment ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... JULABO USA introduces its new ... website makes it easy to navigate through the site whether you’re in the ... product information, educational industry content and visit the company’s social media accounts, all ...
(Date:8/14/2017)... New York, NY (PRWEB) , ... August 14, 2017 , ... ... Mobile in Clinical Trials event, which will take place on September 6, 2017 ... Daniel Karlin, MD , Head of Experimental Medicine, Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer ...
Breaking Biology Technology: