Navigation Links
Superbugs may have a soft spot, after all
Date:2/26/2013

The overuse of antibiotics has created strains of bacteria resistant to medication, making the diseases they cause difficult to treat, or even deadly. But now a research team at the University of Rochester has identified a weakness in at least one superbug that scientists may be able to medically exploit.

Biologists Gloria Culver at Rochester and Keith Connolly, now at Harvard University, thought one key to stopping the bacteria may lie with proteins, so they studied the mechanism behind the development of bacterial ribosomesthe cell's protein-manufacturing machine.

"We targeted the ribosomes in our research because cells and organisms can't live if they don't make proteins, and they can't make proteins if their ribosomes aren't functioning properly." said Culver.

Culver and Connolly specifically worked with cultures of E. coli, a bacteria commonly found in the intestines. While E. coli is usually harmless, some strains are resistant to antibiotics and can cause serious food poisoning.

They discovered that two proteins already present in E. coli cellsRbfA and KsgAneed to be in balance with each other in order for ribosomes to function. If those proteins are present in the wrong concentrations, the ribosomes will not mature properly and will be unable to produce proteins, leading to the death of the cells. Their findings are being published this week in the journal Molecular Microbiology.

Culver said with the discovery that KsgA and RbfA.must be balanced for the cells to function properly, the next goal is to determine an effective way to disrupt that balance.

Crucially, RbfA does not exist in humans. "That may make it possible," Culver said," to kill E. coli without having a harmful effect on people."

Eric Brown, a professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., calls their work creative and scholarly. "Ribosome assembly represents a rich target for much needed antibacterial drugs to treat drug-resistant infections," said Brown, "and this work offers new and important insights into the process."

Culver explained the role the proteins play in ribosome maturation. A healthy ribosome is made up of two compartmentsor subunitsthat must come together only when each one is mature. An overabundance of RbfA hurries the process along, which could result in an ineffective structure. The job of the KsgA is to bind with the smaller of the compartments, preventing the formation of the ribosome until both parts are ready.

Culver says RbfA and KsgA belong to "the chicken or the egg" category of microbiology. While they're essential to the development of ribosomes, the ribosomes themselves are needed to create proteins, including the RbfA and KsgA. She calls it an ongoing and intriguing question for biologists.


'/>"/>

Contact: Peter Iglinski
peter.iglinski@rochester.edu
585-273-4726
University of Rochester
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Hunt for superbugs in Australian animals
2. Hydrogen peroxide vapor enhances hospital disinfection of superbugs
3. 1 year after Fukushima
4. AGU: Venice hasnt stopped sinking after all
5. Black flies may have a purpose after all
6. Estrogen hormone reveals protective ability after traumatic brain injury
7. Obstructive sleep apneas damage evident after 1 month
8. Scientists read the ash from the Icelandic volcano 2 years after its eruption
9. Microbial communities shifted dramatically after Deepwater Horizon spill
10. Regenerated cells may restore vision after corneal dysfunction
11. Cinega de Santa Clara unchanged after pilot run of Yuma Desalting Plant
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/11/2016)... PUNE, India , March 11, 2016 ... to a new market research report "Image Recognition Market ... by Application (Marketing and Advertising), by Deployment Type (On-Premises ... Global Forecast To 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the global ... in 2015 to USD 29.98 Billion by 2020, at ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , March 9, ... of identity management authentication and enrollment solutions, today ... proven DigitalPersona ® Altus multi-factor ... enable IT and InfoSec managers to step-up security ... friction.  Washington, DC ...
(Date:3/2/2016)... March 2, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Biometrics Market in ... ,     (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) , , Global biometrics ... at a CAGR of around 27%   ... has announced the addition of the  "Global ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... that facilitates accessibility to unique bioresearch materials from laboratories across the globe, today ... researchers scramble to increase the pace of research toward treatment and prevention measures ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... fertility clinics and IVF laboratories. A contingency of reproductive endocrinologists, including Dr. ... and women experiencing infertility and to help them build families. , Ovation Fertility ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... , ... The MIT bioLogic design team has won multiple A' Design ... can be applied to fabric and formed into living interfaces between body and environment. ... change. The team harvested Natto cells and applied them to fabric with custom 3D ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... Summit ... (NSCF) to support the development of a patient-specific stem cell therapy for the treatment ... the lab of Dr. Jeanne Loring at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: