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Newly found sensing system enables certain bacteria to resist human immune defenses

erstanding of this system they could develop new drugs that are more effective at protecting people from infection.

Likewise, now Dr. Otto and his research group are hoping for similar possibilities for gram-positive bacteria with their discovery of “aps,” which stands for antimicrobial peptide sensor. Aps has three parts: apsS, the sensor region; apsR, the gene regulation region; and apsX, which has an unknown function that Dr. Otto’s group is investigating. Studies show that all three components of aps must be present for the system to function and effectively protect bacteria from AMPs.

“We are aware that for gram-negative bacteria, PhoP/PhoQ has been called a premier target for antimicrobial drug discovery, but little corresponding work has been done with gram-positive bacteria,” Dr. Otto says. “Our group is excited by what we have demonstrated—an efficient and unique way that gram-positive bacteria control resistance—and we are continuing our investigation of the aps sensing system being used for drug development.”


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Source:NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


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