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Newly discovered cell mechanism uses amplified nitric oxide to fight C. diff
Date:8/21/2011

rsal function in protecting cells against microbial proteins, many of which have a design that is conducive to being s-nitrosylated by GSNO," Dr. Stamler says. "In this regard, GSNO-like molecules may represent a new class of antibiotics that can be developed, exploiting the shape changes in numerous bacterial proteins."

In their work, researchers also noted that increased levels of GSNO in the gut of C. diff-infected animals and increased levels of SNO-toxin in stools of patients, directly correlated with deactivation of the toxin, further confirming that the natural mechanism works to reduce disease activity in people. This provides a basis for measuring how much nitric oxide, a key molecule in cell immune activity, has bound to toxins to make SNO and limit the spread of bacteria.

The current treatment of C. diff is difficult and the infection often recurs. Resistance to antibiotics is also a serious worry. The researchers are currently developing a new class of anti-toxin treatment based on these findings. One advantage of such antitoxins, says Dr. Stamler, is that resistance won't occur. The researchers hope that the new treatment can enter clinical trials very rapidly.


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Contact: Kevin Mayhood
kevin.mayhood@case.edu
216-368-4442
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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