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Bacteria that cause tooth decay able to survive without important biochemical pathway

ct that the bacteria could survive without the SRP pathway was the most striking finding for scientists in the membrane protein insertion field," said Ross E. Dalbey, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at The Ohio State University. "The big question now is discovering how these proteins are targeted in the absence of the SRP pathway, and I think that will be an important area of future research."

Dalbey said the YidC2 and the SRP pathway could become targets in fighting tooth decay because they have been shown to enable S. mutans to grow in acidic conditions. Additionally, the YidC molecule has been demonstrated to be important to bacterial virulence and growth and has the potential to become a target in fighting infectious diseases, he said.

"Really, we started with a very basic question related primarily to S. mutans, 'how does this bacteria tolerate acid?'" said Brady. "Asking that question has opened the door much more widely to learning things that are more fundamental about how living organisms insert proteins and how membrane function is determined by proteins.

"We now know that things are not always as straightforward as they seem," she said.


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Source:University of Florida


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