Navigation Links
Solution to Bacterial Mystery Promises New Drugs

A 25-year quest to identify the first biochemical step that many disease-causing bacteria use to build their membranes has led to a discovery //that holds promise for effective, new antibiotics against these bacteria, according to investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The finding is significant because the biochemical step the antibiotic would block is not used by humans. Therefore, such a drug would not cause dangerous side effects.

A report on this finding appears in the September 1 issue of Molecular Cell. The discovery also demonstrated that current textbooks use the wrong type of bacterium as a model to explain a critical biochemical step that most disease-causing bacteria use to make their membranes, according to Charles Rock, Ph.D., a member of the St. Jude Department of Infectious Diseases and senior author of the paper. As bacteria grow in size or divide, they must make additional membrane using a series of biochemical reactions. The first step in this process is the transfer of a fatty acid to a molecule called G3P. Bacteria then convert this molecule into a variety of other molecules called phospholipids, which are the building blocks of membranes.

“We identified a biochemical process that uses a previously unrecognized molecule as a raw material to make phospholipid,” Rock said. “That discovery solved a mystery that has puzzled researchers for 25 years.”

Scientists have used E. coli bacteria for many years as a model to understand how disease-causing bacteria make membrane phospholipids, but E. coli is an unsuitable model for most pathogens (disease-causing bacteria), according to Rock.

First, E. coli is a so-called gram-negative bacterium, while many of the pathogens researchers are interested in are gram-positive, Rock noted. Among those gram-positive organisms are Staphylococcus aureus, which causes skin infections and serious blood infections, and Streptococcus pneumoniae, which cause s pneumonia. The terms “gram-positive” and “gram-negative” refer to the response of bacteria to a standard laboratory process by which they are stained as a first step in identification.

Laboratory strains of E. coli do not cause disease; and the enzyme E. coli uses during the first step in making membranes does not exist in most other bacteria, including gram-positive pathogens. Therefore, the way gram-positive bacteria make phospholipid building blocks remained a mystery for over more than two decades. Now, however, the St. Jude team reports that the gram-positive pathogens use two enzymes, called PlsX and PlsY, to kick off phospholipid synthesis.

“In fact, the biochemical pathway that uses PlsX and PlsY is the most widely distributed bacterial pathway for initiating the production of phospholipids,” explained the study’s first author, Ying-Jie Lu, Ph.D., of the St. Jude Department of Infectious Diseases. “It turns out that E. coli is more of an oddball rather than in the mainstream when it comes to how it makes membranes.”

E. coli fuses a molecule called G3P with a fatty acid in a single step. Rock’s team showed that gram-positive pathogens first use PlsX to synthesize a compound called fatty acyl-phosphate, then use PlsY to transfer the fatty acid to G3P. These steps initiate membrane phospholipid formation required for cell growth.

“Our discovery of PlsX and PlsY not only solved a troublesome mystery,” Rock said. “It’s also important because identifying the essential components required for disease-causing bacteria to grow and multiply is a key part of developing new strategies for controlling infections.”


Related medicine news :

1. A Solution To Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight
2. Radiation Therapy An Effective Solution For Recurrent Prostate Cancer
3. A Solution For Patients Suffering From Shingles
4. How Effective Is Your Hand Wash Solution ?
5. Exercise The Ideal Solution For Postmenopausal Women
6. Solutions Being Sought For Prevention Of Rickets
7. Is Surgery The Only Solution To Backache?
8. Stem Cell Solution for Infertility
9. Forensic Phonetics – Scientific Solution for Legal Problem
10. Overdentures: An Optimal Solution To Edentulousness
11. Solution For Controlling The Raising Health Costs
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... For the first time, Vitalalert ... Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the two groups began in 2014 ... MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in 1954 and is an international ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 25, 2015, officials of ... Narconon network, announced the release of a new cutting edge recovery program that has ... been working with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to free addicts from ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased to announce the addition ... many patients are aware of the benefits of Botox® in the treatment of moderate ... with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a result of Jaw Tension, TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an independent physician, Andrew ... is evaluating the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. This study is ... May 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical center located in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Silver Spring, Md (PRWEB) , ... November 25, ... ... the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups ... the history of this disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , 26 november 2015 ... kondigt de geplande investering aan van ten ... de laboratoria en het mondiale hoofdkantoor in ... uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra kantoorruimte en ... aan de groeiende behoeften van de farmaceutische ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- --> --> Juntendo ... optimal contrast weighting of MRI for patients with Multiple ... research agreement with SyntheticMR in order to use SyMRI in ... possible to generate multiple contrast images from a single scan ... thus making it possible to both fine tune images and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 26, 2015 ... the addition of the "2016 Future Horizons ... Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, ... offering. --> ... comprehensive analysis of the Japanese therapeutic drug monitoring ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: