Navigation Links
Fimbriae Help Bacteria Stick Around Inside the Body

The hair-like protrusions of bacteria have a sticky protein on the tip that makes them cling to surfaces. The structure of these protrusions are in the form of a coiled// , bungee cord-like structure which helps the bacteria hang on tightly, even through rough fluid flow inside the body, researchers report in the journal PLoS Biology.

A group of researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle and ETH Zurich in Switzerland have been studying how the bacterium E. coli attaches to mucous membranes in the body. In their previous research, they explained how the protrusions, known as fimbriae have an adhesive protein called FimH at their tip that binds in an unusual way to a sugar molecule on a surface.

The FimH-sugar combination makes a 'catch bond' that acts like a finger trap, and actually gets stronger as drag force is exerted on a bacterium. Rather than being swept away by fluids moving through the human body, the bacterium grips even more tightly, helping it stick around and form an infection, like those seen in the urinary tract, for instance. The catch bonds release their grip when there is little or no force on the bacteria.

In new research, the scientists have learned that the mechanical properties of the bungee-like fimbriae also play a key role in the tenacity of E. coli clinging to mucousal surfaces. The tiny fiber-like protrusions are made up of interlocking protein segments in a tightly coiled helix shape, like a seven-nanometer-wide Slinky toy. The researchers found that under force, the fimbriae stretch to many times their original length as the protein segments uncoil one by one. If the force on them drops, the fimbriae coils are compressed, keeping tension on the bond between the bacterium and the mucous membrane.

'The fimbriae uncoil and recoil to dampen sudden changes in forces caused by rough and rapidly changing flow conditions,' explained study co-author Dr. Viola Vogel, professor in the D epartment of Materials at ETH Zurich. This process maintains an optimal force required to keep the finger trap-like FimH anchor from breaking loose.

'This system is similar to a set of shock absorbers on your car that dampen turbulent forces caused by bumpy road conditions,' added study co-author Dr. Wendy Thomas, assistant professor of bioengineering at the UW.

The researchers found that fimbrial uncoiling and recoiling events balance each other at an intermediate force level that corresponds to the force at which the sticky protein tip forms the most stable bond with the surface. Thus, the mechanical and adhesive features of the system evolved together to help the bacteria persist in tough environments inside a host animal or person.

'esearch on these fimbriae uncovers something that's essentially a mechanical nanotechnological device created by nature, and gives us the opportunity to adapt such a system for biotechnological and even other technical uses,' said study co-author Dr. Evgeni Sokurenko, associate professor of microbiology at the UW and a principal investigator at the NIH Bioengineering Research Partnership that primarily funded the project. 'It also improves our understanding of how to fight bacteria that persist in turbulent environments, like the human urinary tract or intestines.'


Related medicine news :

1. Bacterial discovery may help CF patients
2. Cure for Bacterial Meningitis
3. Before Weight Loss Surgery One Should Get Tested for Bacteria
4. Molecule That Aids Bacterial Infections Identified
5. Moms Stomach Bacteria Can Cause Leukaemia In Children
6. Bacteria Evolve Armamentarium Against Antibiotics By ‘Stealing’ Gens
7. Bacterial Photographs Created By Student Scientists!
8. Bacterial infestation in food very critical!
9. Tooth Decay Bacteria Unaffected By Altered Biochemical Pathway
10. Beneficial Symbiotic Relationship Between Ants And Bacteria.
11. Tamiflu substrate produced from Bioengineered Bacteria
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... using cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the ... are aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The ... centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 ... brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live ... not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, ... presented a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary ... part of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone ... physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If ... at my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , ... Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, ... announced the five finalists of Lyme Innovation ... More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Calif. , June 24, 2016  American Respiratory Labs (ARL), ... is now able to perform sophisticated lung assessments in patients, homes, ... , Inc. Patients are no longer limited to ... EasyOne PRO ® , ARL patients like Jeanne R. of ... in the comfort of her own home. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading ... and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced ... Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed ... other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate ... the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: