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Scientists determine structure of enzyme that disrupts bacterial virulence

-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.


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Source:Brandeis University


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