Navigation Links
Newfound hijacked proteins linked to salmonella virulence

Scientists have discovered that bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella have a sneaky way of making minor alterations to their genes to boost their chances for infection.

It's a fascinating discovery made at Ohio State University, which is featured in the Aug. 14 issue of Nature Chemical Biology. This discovery shows how bacteria make tweaks in their genes, and their proteins to gain strength.

The team includes research scientist Herve Roy, who joined the University of Central Florida faculty at the College of Medicine this month. He co-authored the paper after conducting research in OSU Professor Michael Ibba's lab.

"Mother Nature tinkers a lot," Roy said from his new lab in Orlando. "Our recent findings illustrate that new proteins in living organisms often evolve from older pre-existing ones, and that evolution updates biochemical mechanisms of living cells by tweaking them a little by applying molecular patches."

The precise role of one protein in bacteria, EF-P, remains a mystery, but this team found that it plays an essential role in the virulence of Salmonella enterica typhimurium, a common foodborne pathogen causing diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, and occasionally lifetime chronic arthritis. Salmonella also accounts for about 400 deaths each year in the United States.

EF-P is known to play a role in protein biosynthesis, which is a keystone mechanism present in all organisms. This process is the chain assembly line that decodes the blue prints stored in the genomes of living organisms, to make all the proteins necessary to sustain life.

The team's research identified a modification born by EF-P that acts as a molecular patch on protein synthesis. The patch seems to increase the bacteria's prowess. Interestingly, the modification on EF-P is made by a hijacked protein, normally involved in the protein synthesis machinery itself.

In the Aug. 14 issue of Nature Chemical Biology, Roy and co-authors identified the chemical nature of the modification that occurs on EF-P. This is critical because in the team's experiments, when the modified version of EF-P is absent, Salmonella doesn't spread.

Because the mechanism by which the modification occurs is unique to bacteria and this system is involved in virulence it could be a potential drug target, Ibba said.

Roy's experience and interest in this area is what drew him to UCF. His lab in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences at UCF will use National Institutes of Health funding to explore how some other components of the protein synthesis machinery have been hijacked to accomplish alternate cellular processes. For instance, one process utilizes parts of the protein synthesis machinery to modify components of the bacterial membrane. This mechanism increases bacterial resistance to a large spectrum of antibiotics and presents a good avenue for new drugs that could potentially alleviate or cure many infectious diseases.

"That's why I came to UCF," Roy said. "There is a good team of scientists here working in infectious diseases. There is a good opportunity to collaborate and make a difference."


Contact: Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala
University of Central Florida

Related biology news :

1. Hijacked supplies for pathogens
2. Saliva proteins could help detection of oral cancer
3. New lab manual focuses on essential methods for purifying and characterizing proteins
4. Proteins in sperm unlock understanding of male infertility says new study
5. Linking Proteins, Wires, Dots, and Molecules into Useful Devices
6. Luminescence shines new light on proteins
7. Proteins strangle cell during division
8. Just a little squeeze lets proteins assess DNA
9. New technique is quantum leap forward in understanding proteins
10. Motor nerve targeting to limb muscles is controlled by ephrin proteins
11. JDRF-funded researchers discover proteins regulating human beta cell replication
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Newfound hijacked proteins linked to salmonella virulence
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris from 17 th until 19 ... from 17 th until 19 th November 2015. ... invented the first combined scanner in the world which scans ... now two different scanners were required: one for passports and ... the same surface. This innovation is an ideal solution for ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Nov. 17, 2015 Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: ... development and sale of broadly enabling, pressure cycling technology ... industry, today announced it has received gross proceeds of ... Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing the total amount raised ... more additional closings are expected in the near future. ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for use ... chemical discovery information management tools. The partnership will ... share both biological and chemical research information internally ... tools will be used for managing the Institute,s ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, ... that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive ... Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 ... in New York City. --> ... . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR ... and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that ... to present at the 2015 Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference ... The Lotte New York Palace Hotel in ... --> . --> ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 According to two new studies, fewer men ... something that many doctors, scientists, and public health experts have ... fewer PSA tests being done, will there be more men ... David Samadi, "Despite the efforts made in regards to ... leading cancer cause of death in men, killing approximately 27,500 ...
(Date:11/23/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 23, 2015 , ... Noblis, Inc., ... , former Director, Plans and Programs, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), has joined the ... with an incredibly distinguished career in the intelligence community and the private sector,” said ...
Breaking Biology Technology: