Navigation Links
Scientists seek to unwrap the sweet mystery of the sugar coat on bacteria

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a quick and simple way to investigate the sugar coating that surrounds bacteria and plays a role in infection and immunity.

The sugars coating bacteria can change very quickly during the course of an infection, cloaking the bacteria from the immune system of their host. Previous techniques for studying the sugars were too slow to catch these rapid changes.

"There's a growing recognition of the importance of carbohydrates on bacterial cell surfaces," says Dr. Lara Mahal, lead researcher and assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry with the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology. "The carbohydrate coating is critical in how your immune system recognizes bacteria."

Mahal and graduate student Ken Hsu report their findings in the advance on-line edition and March issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

The scientists studied the sugar coats of four strains of bacteria: two lab strains of E. coli, one pathogenic strain of E. coli that causes neonatal meningitis, and Salmonella typhimurium, which causes food poisoning.

They analyzed each strain of bacteria using lectin microarrays--small glass plates covered with dots of sugar-binding proteins called lectins. The lectin dots act like microbe Velcro. Bacteria with a surface sugar that matches a specific lectin stick to that lectin dot. Because the bacteria are fluorescently labeled, Mahal and her colleagues can read the patterns of glowing dots and determine which sugars coat the bacteria.

The microarray technique worked fast enough that the researchers were able to see the sugar coating change over time in the neonatal meningitis strain of E. coli.

"Over time, the lectins lost their ability to see these bacteria," says Mahal. "This demonstrates that our system is able to see a dynamic change in the carbohydrates on bacteria surface over time."

Mahal says the microarray method could prov ide an important tool for identifying bacteria and diagnosing infection. It will also provide a way for scientists to start asking questions about the role that surface sugars play in bacterial infection and symbiotic relationships.


'"/>

Source:University of Texas at Austin


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:3/22/2016)... and SANDY, Utah , March ... operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics and molecular ... of a project to establish the informatics infrastructure for ... NSO has been contracted by the Ontario Ministry ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University ... University, announced today the formation of Neteera Technologies ... biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first round ... Neteera,s ... from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric identification, ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... --> --> ... and Access Management Market by Component (Provisioning, Directory Services, ... Organization Size, by Deployment, by Vertical, and by Region ... market is estimated to grow from USD 7.20 Billion ... a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2% during ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 ... Market Research "Metabolomics Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... metabolomics market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR ... 2,494.8 million by 2024. Metabolomics is the ... within cells, biofluids, tissues or organisms. Together, these small ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016 ... Chip (Genomics, Drug Discovery, Gene Expression) Lab-on-a-chip ... user (Academics Institutes, Diagnostics Centers), Fabrication Technology ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to ... USD 7.63 Billion in 2015, growing at ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... ... CEO 2016 on May 31st and June 1st at The Four Seasons Hotel ... executives in the life sciences, offering exclusive access to key decision makers who ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Wearable Tech ... driven conferences, will take place on June 7-8, 2016, at the New York Academy ... on incorporating technology -- including AR/VR, machine learning, apps, robotics and AI -- throughout ...
Breaking Biology Technology: