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Salmonella uses protective switch during infection
Date:5/27/2013

e cysteines. But nine of these stood out: The glutathiones and the cysteines attached to the same exact spot on the nine proteins. Not at the same time -- the team found that Salmonella used glutathiones at these sites when they were fat and happy, growing with rich food. When grown under stressful conditions with nutritionally poor food, the Salmonella swapped their glutathiones for cysteines.

In addition, switching S-thiolation modifications appeared to be a talent unique to Salmonella. The team checked other bacteria such as Escherichia coli, a common gut bacteria, and Yersinia pestis, which causes plague, to see if other species used this S-thiolation switch on their proteins. They didn't, suggesting that Salmonella had come up with this tactic during its own evolution.

The researchers speculate that Salmonella might use the smaller cysteine under stressed conditions as an energy saving device. Additional research will reveal what control functions the modifications are actually performing on the proteins.


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Contact: Mary Beckman
mary.beckman@pnnl.gov
509-375-3688
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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