Navigation Links
Bacteria with a built-in thermometer

Researchers in the "Molecular Infection Biology group" at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig and the Braunschweig Technical University could now demonstrate for the first time that bacteria of the Yersinia genus possess a unique protein thermometer the protein RovA - which assists them in the infection process. RovA is a multi-functional sensor: it measures both the temperature of its host as well as the host's metabolic activity and nutrients. If these are suitable for the survival of the bacteria, the RovA protein activates genes for the infection process to begin. These results have now been published in the current online edition of the PLoS Pathogens science magazine.

Yersinia can trigger various different diseases: best well-known is the Yersinia pestis type which caused the Plague in medieval times. This led to the death of around a third of Europe's population. The Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis species cause an inflammation of the intestines following food poisoning: the bacteria infect the cells of the intestines, leading to heavy bouts of diarrhoea. The Yersinia bacteria contain invasin as a surface protein to help them penetrate the intestinal cells. The immune cells quickly identify this so-called virulence factor as a danger and launch an immune response. To avoid this, the bacteria quickly lose the invasin soon after entering the body. The germs then adapt their metabolism and feed on the nutrients prepared by the host cells. They also produce substances which kill off the body's defence cells, such as phagocytes. Little was known about how Yersinia is able to regulate these individual stages of infection until now.

Researchers at the HZI, led by Petra Dersch, have now identified how these mechanisms work. The RovA protein plays a key role. The protein reads the temperature for the bacteria. Depending on the environment of the bacteria, this protein either contains the factors required for the infection to begin or else adapts to life within the host. "The functioning of RovA in this way is unique among bacteria," says Petra Dersch.

If inhabiting an environment of around 25C, the protein RovA ensures that the Yersinia bacteria form invasin as a surface protein. This ensures that the Yersinia can penetrate the intestinal cells immediately upon reaching the 37C intestine via food. In this warm environment, the RovA alters its form and de-activates the gene for invasin production. Without invasin on their surface, the Yersinia bacteria are invisible to the body's immune system. In its new form, the RovA can now activate other genes in the bacteria to adapt the Yersinia metabolism to that of the host.

Until now, little was known about RovA and the fact that it reacts to temperature. Researchers were presented with a puzzle: "We have long been searching for the mechanisms which regulate RovA activity," says Petra Dersch. "It was therefore all the more surprising to discover that RovA controls various processes by acting as a thermometer and as such is self-regulating". At the end of the process, the RovA is responsible for its own decomposition. If the initial stages of infection prove successful, the Yersinia bacteria no longer need the RovA: in its modified form at 37C, enzymes in the bacteria can attack and break down the RovA.


Contact: Dr. Bastian Dornbach
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres

Related medicine news :

1. Veterinarians at high risk for viral, bacterial infections from animals
2. Sterilize the Flu Virus and Bacteria in Home Air with Alen Corp.'s New HEPA UV Air Purifiers
3. New UVC Kit Destroys Microorganisms Including flu Viruses, Bacteria and Mold
4. Autoantibodies may be created in response to bacterial DNA
5. Hospital Approved Residential Water Features Kill Harmful Airborne Bacteria
6. FDA Approves New Indication for Wyeths TYGACIL (tigecycline) for the Treatment of Adult Patients with Community-Acquired Bacterial Pneumonia
7. Simple device can ensure food gets to the store bacteria free
8. Most bacteria from craft goats cheese come from lactic acid and could be beneficial for health
9. Gut instinct: Salmonella bacterias molecular tactics to cause illness
10. Friendly Bacteria Improve Health Segment Broadcasts On The National Medical Report
11. Experimental TB drug explodes bacteria from the inside out
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... Overland Park, KS (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... leader in retailers of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United ... life, eyeglasses have become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health ... the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking ... American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical ... effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar ... M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal ... complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... and sells medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products ... cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. ... 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology ... will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher to ... Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was also ... and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member of ... expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in connection ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality (Filler, ... Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to reach USD 8.1 ... the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: