Navigation Links
Scientists determine structure of enzyme that disrupts bacterial virulence

First step toward developing enzymes to treat diseases such as cystic fibrosis, reduce bacterial biowarfare threatsA team of biomedical researchers from Brandeis University and the University of Texas at Austin has determined the first 3-dimensional structure of an enzyme that may be pivotal in preventing certain bacterial infections in plants, animals and humans, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The enzyme had already been shown in previous studies to significantly decrease soft rot in potato plants. The Brandeis and University of Texas team purified the enzyme and identified its structure using X-ray crystallography, an essential step toward developing drugs that may reduce the pathogenicity of bacteria involved in biowarfare threats such as glanders and diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

"This study represents a significant advance in understanding how this enzyme can prevent certain bacteria from becoming virulent," explained Dagmar Ringe of the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center at Brandeis University. "One of the promising aspects of potential therapies based on this enzyme is that it targets a different pathway than current antibiotics."

The enzyme works by disrupting the ability of certain bacteria to sense their own population growth ?the key to triggering genes that can increase virulence. In order to sense the size of their own populations, certain bacteria produce small molecules called N-acyl homoserine lactones. The concentrations of these lactones increase along with the growth of the bacterial population. After reaching a threshold concentration, the lactones can "turn on" a variety of genes, often increasing the virulence of the accumulating bacteria.

This population-sensing results in a type of bacterial "group think" because certain genes are not turned on until a minimum number of bacteria are present. Hence, this phenomenon is called quorum -sensing.

"Being able to disrupt quorum-sensing in these organisms could potentially augment our current treatments, and knowing the structure of this quorum-quenching enzyme will greatly help in developing more effective enzymes for this type of application," explained Walter Fast, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin.

In addition to treating plant pathogens, the hope is that these quorum-quenching enzymes may eventually be developed for use in treating human and animal pathogens that also rely on quorum-sensing for their virulence.

For example, bacterial pathogens such as Burkholderia mallei, which is responsible for the biowarfare threat glanders, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which often forms opportunistic infections on the lung surfaces of patients with cystic fibrosis, rely on their quorum-sensing systems to increase their pathogenicity and resistance to antibiotics.


'"/>

Source:Brandeis University


Related biology news :

1. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
2. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
3. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
4. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
5. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
6. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
7. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
8. Scientists decipher genome of fungus that can cause life-threatening infections
9. Scientists discover the cellular roots of graying hair
10. Scientists rid stem cell culture of key animal cells
11. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/21/2016)... , Nov. 21, 2016   Neurotechnology ... object recognition technologies, today announced that the MegaMatcher ... cards was submitted for the NIST Minutiae ... passed all the mandatory steps of the evaluation ... is a continuing test of fingerprint templates used ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... Md. , Nov. 15, 2016  Synthetic ... company developing therapeutics focused on the gut microbiome, ... offering of 25,000,000 shares of its common stock ... common stock at a price to the public ... proceeds to Synthetic Biologics from the offering, excluding ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  The American College of Medical ... Show Executive Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade ... 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas ... highest percentage of growth in each of the following categories: ... companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , ... December 02, 2016 ... ... a consortium of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved ... interested in supplying a vendor-supported, portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... The immunohistochemistry (IHC) market is projected ... of 7.3% during the forecast period of 2016 to 2021 dominated ... accounted for the largest share of immunohistochemistry (IHC) market, by end ... , , ... market spread across 225 pages, profiling 10 companies and supported with ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... today announced the appointment of Joshua F. Coleman , ... Dr. Coleman will oversee clinical content development and curation of ... software suite empowers molecular pathologists with a seamless workflow for ... from quality control through reporting. ... , , ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... RATON, Fla. , Nov. 30, 2016 ... biotherapeutic products, is pleased to announce the addition of ... Avenue Kearney, Nebraska . The 15,200 ... business on November 29th, 2016 and brings the total ... Ileana Carlisle , BPC,s Chief Executive ...
Breaking Biology Technology: