Navigation Links
Texas A&M Researchers Examine How Viruses Destroy Bacteria
Date:11/18/2009

Viruses are well known for attacking humans and animals, but some viruses instead attack bacteria. Texas A&M University researchers are exploring how hungry viruses, armed with transformer-like weapons, attack bacteria, which may aid in the treatment of bacterial infections.

The Texas A&M researchers' work is published in the renowned journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

The attackers are called phages, or bacteriophages, meaning eaters of bacteria.

The word bacteriophage is derived from the Greek "phagein," meaning eater of bacteria.

"The phages first attach to the bacteria and then inject their DNA," says Sun Qingan, coauthor of the article and a doctoral student at Texas A&M. "Then they reproduce inside the cell cytoplasm."

After more than 100 phage particles have been assembled, the next step is to be released from the bacterial host, so that the progeny virions can find other hosts and repeat the reproduction cycle, Sun adds.

Besides the cell membrane, the phages have another obstacle on their way out a hard shell called cell wall that protects the bacteria. Only by destroying the cell wall can the phages release their offspring.

But, don't worry. The phages have a secret weapon an enzyme that can destroy the wall from inside, thus called endolysin.

"One of the special examples, R21, remains inactive when it is first synthesized and attached to the membrane as demonstrated in our paper," Sun explains. "But when the enzyme leaves the membrane, it restructures just like a transformer and gains the power to destroy the cell wall."

The trigger controlling the transformation process is a segment of the enzyme call the SAR domain, according to the Texas A&M team.

"The SAR domain is like the commander it tells the enzyme when to begin restructuring and destroying the cell wall," he says. "This finding enables us to better understand the release process and provid
'/>"/>

Contact: Sun Qingan
q-sun@neo.tamu.edu
979-862-7639
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
2. Ceres and Texas A&M to develop and market high-biomass sorghum for biofuels
3. Gulf of Mexico dead zone to be studied by University of Texas at Austin marine scientists
4. UT Southwestern scientist honored among best in Texas research
5. Rices West honored as one of Texas best researchers
6. Texas Hospital nations first to use large-scale cocoon strategy against whooping cough
7. Texas A&M testing oral contraceptives for animals
8. Texas A&M scientists say early Americans arrived earlier
9. Researchers confirm dead zone off Texas coast since 1985
10. Underwater microscope helps prevent shellfish poisoning along Gulf Coast of Texas
11. UTMB inventions win University of Texas System commercialization awards
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/22/2014)... purified crystals that split light with uncanny precision ... and, potentially, computers that manipulate light instead of ... such as etching them with a precise beam ... , Now, researchers at Princeton and Columbia universities ... scientists to customize and grow these specialized materials, ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... milk helps make their bones strong or that fish is food ... if something is good for us, it must surely taste bad? ... Research , when children hear about the benefits of healthy food, ... food is presented to children as making them strong or as ... read or count, they would conclude the food is not as ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... trees and not just asphalt and recreation equipment reduces ... Colorado Boulder study. , Working on class assignments or ... youth, according to a paper published in the journal ... of the first of its kind to focus on ... stress. , "Many schools already offer stress management programs, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Technique simplifies the creation of high-tech crystals 2Technique simplifies the creation of high-tech crystals 3Natural-terrain schoolyards reduce children's stress, says Colorado University-Boulder study 2Natural-terrain schoolyards reduce children's stress, says Colorado University-Boulder study 3
... of Medicine (BUSM) have demonstrated that certain T cells ... pro-inflammatory response in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). ... a loss in homeostasis in this group of T ... Barbara Nikolajczyk, PhD, an associate professor of ...
... the winners of its international travel grants to ... the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland, March ... is to foster and initiate further interaction between ... financial difficulties. Recipients of this competitive award ...
... rap as vermin and pests because they seem to thrive ... in Africa for the past 50 million years. From ... a stable and plentiful source of food, says paleontologist Alisa ... fossils are proving their usefulness to scientists as they help ...
Cached Biology News:Biophysical Society announces winners of 2011 International Travel Awards 2Biophysical Society announces winners of 2011 International Travel Awards 3Biophysical Society announces winners of 2011 International Travel Awards 4Rodents were diverse and abundant in prehistoric Africa when our human ancestors evolved 2Rodents were diverse and abundant in prehistoric Africa when our human ancestors evolved 3
(Date:7/22/2014)... Parsippany, NJ (PRWEB) July 22, 2014 ... analytical, precision, portable, and mechanical balances and scales, ... precision balances has won Laboratory Equipment magazine’s 2014 ... is the second consecutive year the Explorer was ... readers. The annual Readers’ Choice Awards celebrates “excellence ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... and SHENZHEN, China , ... Co., LTD, (BGI Tech), a subsidiary of BGI, ... global launch of a new human whole exome ... This newly offered service includes in-depth bioinformatics analysis ... prices until December 31, 2014. ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... (PRWEB) July 22, 2014 Quorum Review IRB, ... service for large clinical trials called Quick Step™ . ... designed to address the research industry’s need for seamless study ... service is available for studies planning 50 or more North ... combined planned North American site count of 80 or more. ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... 2014 The next session of ... and will comprise of the increasingly popular ‘Base SAS’ ... is a series of technical hands-on classes for entry-level ... reach the next step in their professional careers. , ... by Jennifer Kang, Senior Statistician at Genentech and former ...
Breaking Biology Technology:OHAUS Explorer Voted “Best Balance” in Laboratory Equipment’s 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards 2BGI Tech Launches Human Whole Exome Sequencing Service on Complete Genomics' Advanced Platform 2BGI Tech Launches Human Whole Exome Sequencing Service on Complete Genomics' Advanced Platform 3Quorum Review IRB Launches New Quick Step™ Service for Large Clinical Trials 2Quorum Review IRB Launches New Quick Step™ Service for Large Clinical Trials 3Clinovo TechTrainings: Next Session of SAS and CDISC Classes Start 9th September, 2014 2Clinovo TechTrainings: Next Session of SAS and CDISC Classes Start 9th September, 2014 3
... March 21, 2011 Cell Therapeutics, Inc. ("CTI") (Nasdaq ... its randomized pivotal trial of pixantrone for the treatment ... trial is now open to patient enrollment. The trial, ... will compare a combination of pixantrone plus rituximab to ...
... 18, 2011 Driving value for customers is critical to ... points between a customer and an organization, there has to ... an organization to succeed in the marketplace. ... Practices, LLC., noted in this month,s special issue of PharmaVoice ...
... 2011 BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: BMRN ... Approach for PKU Treatment) in an abstract (Abstract #91 ... presented by Barbara Burton, MD at the 2011 annual ... Canada.  ADAPT, which was funded by a grant from ...
Cached Biology Technology:Cell Therapeutics Initiates Pixantrone PIX-R Pivotal Trial for Treatment of Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma 2Cell Therapeutics Initiates Pixantrone PIX-R Pivotal Trial for Treatment of Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma 3Cell Therapeutics Initiates Pixantrone PIX-R Pivotal Trial for Treatment of Patients With Relapsed/Refractory Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma 4Best Practices, LLC Showcases Its Expertise in Customer Relationship Management 2First-of-Its-Kind Study Suggests Importance of Routine Mental Health Screening in the Care of Patients Suffering From Genetic Disease PKU 2First-of-Its-Kind Study Suggests Importance of Routine Mental Health Screening in the Care of Patients Suffering From Genetic Disease PKU 3First-of-Its-Kind Study Suggests Importance of Routine Mental Health Screening in the Care of Patients Suffering From Genetic Disease PKU 4First-of-Its-Kind Study Suggests Importance of Routine Mental Health Screening in the Care of Patients Suffering From Genetic Disease PKU 5First-of-Its-Kind Study Suggests Importance of Routine Mental Health Screening in the Care of Patients Suffering From Genetic Disease PKU 6First-of-Its-Kind Study Suggests Importance of Routine Mental Health Screening in the Care of Patients Suffering From Genetic Disease PKU 7First-of-Its-Kind Study Suggests Importance of Routine Mental Health Screening in the Care of Patients Suffering From Genetic Disease PKU 8