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Researchers uncover E. coli's defense mechanism

binds to the iron, which in turn activates the protein."

Once activated, the protein controls expression of the norVW genes. These genes encode an enzyme that removes the nitric oxide, allowing the bacteria to fend off the body's defenses.

The discovery of this mechanism is just the first step in what Spiro hopes will be a line of research aimed at disrupting the mechanism by which the bacteria rids itself of the poisonous nitric oxide.

"If we can interfere with the mechanism, it could lead to better antibiotics and better treatments," said Spiro.


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Source:Georgia Institute of Technology


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