Navigation Links
Team IDs weakness in anthrax bacteria
Date:1/24/2008

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--MIT and New York University researchers have identified a weakness in the defenses of the anthrax bacterium that could be exploited to produce new antibiotics.

The researchers found that nitric oxide (NO) is a critical part of Bacillus anthracis's defense against the immune response launched by cells infected with the bacterium. Anthrax bacteria that cannot produce NO succumb to the immune system's attack.

Stephen Lippard, the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry at MIT and an author of a paper on the work, said antibiotics developed to capitalize on this vulnerability could be effective against other bacteria that employ the same defense system. Those bacteria include Staphylococcus aureus, which commonly causes infections in hospitals and can be extremely drug-resistant.

The paper appears in the Jan. 21 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Anthrax occurs naturally around the world and can infect all warm-blooded animals including humans. Treatment usually includes large doses of intravenous and oral antibiotics, but the disease can often be fatal-especially if treatment is not started right away.

In the human immune system, specialized cells called macrophages are the first line of defense against anthrax infection. Macrophages engulf the bacteria and bombard them with reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, which create chemical reactions toxic to the bacteria.

The research team found that NO produced by the bacteria preemptively defends against attack by reactive oxygen species produced by the macrophages soon after infection. Twelve hours later, when the macrophages release NO to join in the attack, it is too late-by then the bacteria have taken over and eventually destroy the macrophages.

When the gene for the enzyme that synthesizes NO is knocked out in the bacteria, they cannot defend against early attack by the macrophages, which can then survive the infection.

With the aid of an intracellular probe developed in our laboratory, which fluoresces in the presence of NO, our collaborators Evgeny Nudler and his group discovered a completely new target for the next generation of antibiotics, said Lippard.

With this knowledge in hand, the researchers are now using the fluorescent probe to screen libraries of chemicals for compounds that could potentially interfere with the bacterium's ability to synthesize NO, said Lippard. Such compounds could eventually be developed into new antibiotics.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Using carbon nanotubes to seek and destroy anthrax toxin and other harmful proteins
2. Bacterial infections in premature babies more common than previously realized
3. Multiple species of bacteria may cause trachoma: Implications for treatment
4. New drug targets may fight tuberculosis and other bacterial infections in novel way
5. Jekyll and Hyde bacteria offer pest control clue
6. Bacteria that cause urinary tract infections invade bladder cells
7. Nanotube-producing bacteria show manufacturing promise
8. CU-Boulder technology used to identify unexpected bacteria in cystic fibrosis patients
9. Small RNA plays parallel roles in bacterial metabolism
10. Together we stand: bacteria organize to survive hostile zones
11. Chemical compound present in detergents produce bacteria alterations in agricultural soils
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/11/2016)... CHICAGO , Jan. 11, 2016  higi, ... via nearly 10,000 retail locations, web and mobile, ... than $40 million from existing investors. ... will be devoted to further innovate higi,s health ... app and web portal – including expanding services ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... , Jan. 7, 2016 This BCC Research ... for biometric technologies and devices, identifying newer markets and ... various types of biometric devices. Includes forecast from 2015 ... Identify newer markets and explore the expansion of the ... Examine each type of biometric technology, determine its current ...
(Date:1/6/2016)... 2016  Varam Capital, a provider of micro-finance inclusion ... deliver advanced authentication solutions to their clients. Varam supplies ... A loan of a few thousand rupees may make ... ability to purchase livestock or equipment for a small ... for a local store. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2016)... N.J. , Feb. 3, 2016 ... totaling more than $1 million for researchers in ... working on health-related research that demonstrates exciting potential. ... round of funding for the New Jersey Health Foundation ... faculty members at these educational institutions— Princeton University, ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... 2016 , ... ProMIS Neurosciences is currently in the process ... propagating strains of Amyloid beta involved in Alzheimer’s disease. The Company plans to ... on from the first misfolded Amyloid beta target announced on Nov. 12, 2015, ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... ... annual report which summarizes and analyzes nearly 750 unique supply chain notifications ... and analysis service. , Supply chain risk management practitioners subscribe to the ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... Feb. 3, 2016  Today, Symphony Technology Group (STG) ... , a leading provider of primary research and analytics-based ... IMS Health , a global information and technology services ... and technologies will be integrated into IMS Health to ... market research capabilities. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: