Navigation Links
Scientists discover why plague is so lethal
Date:5/4/2008

Bacteria that cause the bubonic plague may be more virulent than their close relatives because of a single genetic mutation, according to research published in the May issue of the journal Microbiology.

The plague bacterium Yersinia pestis needs calcium in order to grow at body temperature. When there is no calcium available, it produces a large amount of an amino acid called aspartic acid, said Professor Brubaker from the University of Chicago, USA. We found that this is because Y. pestis is missing an important enzyme.

Bubonic plague has killed over 200 million people during the course of history and is thus the most devastating acute infectious disease known to man. Despite this, we are still uncertain about the molecular basis of its extraordinary virulence.

Y. pestis evolved from its ancestor Y. pseudotuberculosis within the last 20,000 years, suggesting its high lethality reflects only a few genetic changes. We discovered that a single mutation in the genome of Y. pestis means the enzyme aspartase is not produced, said Professor Brubaker.

Aspartase is present in almost all bacteria but it is curiously absent in many pathogenic types. These include mycobacteria that are pathogenic to man, Francisella tularensis and rickettsiae (both of which cause diseases transmitted to humans via insects). This suggests that the absence of aspartase may contribute to serious disease, said Professor Brubaker.

Aspartase digests aspartic acid. Because Y. pestis doesnt have the enzyme, it produces much more aspartic acid than is required by the person infected. This may cause an imbalance to the host amino acid pools. If this is the case then we might be able to reduce the death rates of these diseases by developing a treatment that removes some of the extra aspartic acid, said Professor Brubaker.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lucy Goodchild
l.goodchild@sgm.ac.uk
44-011-898-81843
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. UK scientists working to help cut ID theft
2. Scientists show that mitochondrial DNA variants are linked to risk factors for type 2 diabetes
3. Comet probes reveal evidence of origin of life, scientists claim
4. Scientists link fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome to binding protein in RNA
5. Male elephants get photo IDs from scientists
6. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
7. Muscle mass: Scientists identify novel mode of transcriptional regulation during myogenesis
8. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop nanogels that enable controlled delivery of carbohydrate drugs
9. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. T. rex quicker than Becks, say scientists
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/31/2015)... OXFORD, Conn. , Jul. 31, 2015 NXT-ID, ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing mobile ... announces that it has filed provisional patent 62/198989 for ... This invention highlights a method to advance crypto-currencies ... technology by introducing a common, uniform way to manage ...
(Date:7/30/2015)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , July 30, 2015 ... products and services for gene function analysis and ... CRISPR Guide RNA (sgRNA) Knockout Library targeting all ... to specifically and permanently "knock out" a gene,s ... library provides a high throughput screening tool so ...
(Date:7/27/2015)... ANGELES , July 27, 2015   ... evidence- and experience-based clinical improvement solutions, today announced ... solution is now available on Android smartphones and ... inpatient and post-care organizations can use ZynxCarebook to ... same patient,s condition, streamline care transitions to other ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):NXT-ID Patents Electronic Crypto-Currency Management Technology 2NXT-ID Patents Electronic Crypto-Currency Management Technology 3NXT-ID Patents Electronic Crypto-Currency Management Technology 4CELLECTA, INC. Announces Launch of Human Whole Genome CRISPR Knockout Library 2Zynx Health Adds Android Device Support to ZynxCarebook Solution 2Zynx Health Adds Android Device Support to ZynxCarebook Solution 3
... European Congress on Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis (ESCEO13-IOF) Rome, Italy ... European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME) credits. ... of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Visit ... Selected highlights from our broad, high-quality programme: ...
... A new study from the University of Maryland School of ... ability of brain cells to communicate with each other. The ... depression is caused and how it should be treated. Instead ... brain, such as serotonin, the scientists found that the transmission ...
... from the ice sheet, despite having some physical connection to ... The discovery, just published in Geophysical Research Letters , ... of the future contribution of Greenland,s ice to sea-level rise. ... from space, and a recently completed inventory of Greenland,s glaciers ...
Cached Biology News:University of Maryland School of Medicine finds depression stems from miscommunication between brain cells 2University of Maryland School of Medicine finds depression stems from miscommunication between brain cells 3Significant contribution of Greenland's peripheral glaciers to sea-level rise 2
(Date:7/29/2015)... -- Sanofi, a global and diversified ... of 2015. CEO Olivier Brandicourt comments ... different businesses. Watch video interview and ... Topics covered in the interview include:  ... drivers - Diabetes - ...
(Date:7/29/2015)... Japan (Q2 2015: +14% CER / 20% of sales) led ... China , as well as solid contributions from Korea, ... / Middle East / Africa ... Germany , Turkey and the ... of sales) grew 11%, excluding U.S. HPV sales, on demand across all customer ...
(Date:7/29/2015)... ... July 29, 2015 , ... G-CON ... the launch of their 2nd generation cell therapy POD® design. The 2nd generation ... it also represents a new POD® design. , “G-CON first offered our ...
(Date:7/29/2015)...  Therapath Neuropathology ( www.Therapath.com ), a leader ... and Military Medical centers both domestically and worldwide.  ... Sweat Gland Nerve Fiber Density (SGNFD) for the ... Demonstration of a reduction in ... skin biopsy is a highly sensitive and specific ...
Breaking Biology Technology:QIAGEN Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Half of 2015 2QIAGEN Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Half of 2015 3QIAGEN Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Half of 2015 4QIAGEN Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Half of 2015 5QIAGEN Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Half of 2015 6QIAGEN Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Half of 2015 7QIAGEN Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Half of 2015 8QIAGEN Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Half of 2015 9QIAGEN Reports Results for Second Quarter and First Half of 2015 10G-CON Manufacturing Launches Their 2nd Generation Cell Therapy Cleanroom POD® 2G-CON Manufacturing Launches Their 2nd Generation Cell Therapy Cleanroom POD® 3Neuropathology services for VA and Military health systems 2
... to Continue as President and CSO, MONTREAL ... a privately held biotechnology company developing,first-in-class Leukocyte Population ... appointment of Jack M. Anthony to Chief,Executive Officer. ... of,CEO will continue as President and assume the ...
... will present at the William Blair & Company ... 10:40 a.m. ET at the New York Palace,Hotel, ... Officer and Dr.,David Persing, Cepheid,s Chief Medical and ... webcast, along with accompanying presentation slides, may be,accessed ...
... cancer ... drug development, MILAN, Italy, Sept. 26 ... shareholders meeting,(Annual Meeting) on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 in Milan. The Company,conducted ... by Italian shareholders. At the 2007 Annual Meeting, shareholders,re-elected Mary O. Mundinger, ...
Cached Biology Technology:Osprey Pharmaceuticals Names Jack M. Anthony as CEO 2Osprey Pharmaceuticals Names Jack M. Anthony as CEO 3Cepheid to Present at William Blair Small-Cap Growth Stock Conference 2Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) Announces 2007 Annual Shareholders Meeting Results 2Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) Announces 2007 Annual Shareholders Meeting Results 3Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) Announces 2007 Annual Shareholders Meeting Results 4