Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Superbugs may have a soft spot, after all

27.02.2013
The overuse of antibiotics has created strains of bacteria resistant to medication, making the diseases they cause difficult to treat, or even deadly. But now a research team at the University of Rochester has identified a weakness in at least one superbug that scientists may be able to medically exploit.

Biologists Gloria Culver at Rochester and Keith Connolly, now at Harvard University, thought one key to stopping the bacteria may lie with proteins, so they studied the mechanism behind the development of bacterial ribosomes—the cell's protein-manufacturing machine.

"We targeted the ribosomes in our research because cells and organisms can't live if they don't make proteins, and they can't make proteins if their ribosomes aren't functioning properly." said Culver.

Culver and Connolly specifically worked with cultures of E. coli, a bacteria commonly found in the intestines. While E. coli is usually harmless, some strains are resistant to antibiotics and can cause serious food poisoning.

They discovered that two proteins already present in E. coli cells—RbfA and KsgA—need to be in balance with each other in order for ribosomes to function. If those proteins are present in the wrong concentrations, the ribosomes will not mature properly and will be unable to produce proteins, leading to the death of the cells. Their findings are being published this week in the journal Molecular Microbiology.

Culver said with the discovery that KsgA and RbfA.must be balanced for the cells to function properly, the next goal is to determine an effective way to disrupt that balance.

Crucially, RbfA does not exist in humans. "That may make it possible," Culver said," to kill E. coli without having a harmful effect on people."

Eric Brown, a professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., calls their work creative and scholarly. "Ribosome assembly represents a rich target for much needed antibacterial drugs to treat drug-resistant infections," said Brown, "and this work offers new and important insights into the process."

Culver explained the role the proteins play in ribosome maturation. A healthy ribosome is made up of two compartments—or subunits—that must come together only when each one is mature. An overabundance of RbfA hurries the process along, which could result in an ineffective structure. The job of the KsgA is to bind with the smaller of the compartments, preventing the formation of the ribosome until both parts are ready.

Culver says RbfA and KsgA belong to "the chicken or the egg" category of microbiology. While they're essential to the development of ribosomes, the ribosomes themselves are needed to create proteins, including the RbfA and KsgA. She calls it an ongoing and intriguing question for biologists.

Peter Iglinski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rochester.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fish Oil-Diet Benefits May be Mediated by Gut Microbes
28.08.2015 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Bio-fabrication of Artificial Blood Vessels with Laser Light
28.08.2015 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: OU astrophysicist and collaborators find supermassive black holes in quasar nearest Earth

A University of Oklahoma astrophysicist and his Chinese collaborator have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth, using observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

The discovery of two supermassive black holes--one larger one and a second, smaller one--are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive...

Im Focus: Optische Schalter - Lernen mit Licht

Einem deutsch-französischen Team ist es gelungen, einen lichtempfindlichen Schalter für Nervenzellen zu entwickeln. Dies ermöglicht neue Einblicke in die Funktionsweise von Gedächtnis und Lernen, aber auch in die Entstehung von Krankheiten.

Lernen ist nur möglich, weil die Verknüpfungen zwischen den Nervenzellen im Gehirn fortwährend umgebaut werden: Je häufiger bestimmte Reizübertragungswege...

Im Focus: What would a tsunami in the Mediterranean look like?

A team of European researchers have developed a model to simulate the impact of tsunamis generated by earthquakes and applied it to the Eastern Mediterranean. The results show how tsunami waves could hit and inundate coastal areas in southern Italy and Greece. The study is published today (27 August) in Ocean Science, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Though not as frequent as in the Pacific and Indian oceans, tsunamis also occur in the Mediterranean, mainly due to earthquakes generated when the African...

Im Focus: Membranprotein in Bern erstmals entschlüsselt

Dreidimensionale (3D) Atommodelle von Proteinen sind wichtig, um deren Funktion zu verstehen. Dies ermöglicht unter anderem die Entwicklung neuer Therapieansätze für Krankheiten. Berner Strukturbiologen ist es nun gelungen, die Struktur eines wichtigen Membranproteins zu entschlüsseln – dies gelingt relativ selten und ist eine Premiere in Bern.

Membranproteine befinden sich in den Wänden der Zellen, den Zellmembranen, und nehmen im menschlichen Körper lebenswichtige Funktionen wahr. Zu ihnen gehören...

Im Focus: Quantenbeugung an einem Hauch von Nichts

Die Quantenphysik besagt, dass sich auch massive Objekte wie Wellen verhalten und scheinbar an vielen Orten zugleich sein können. Dieses Phänomen kann nachgewiesen werden, indem man diese Materiewellen an einem Gitter beugt. Eine europäische Kollaboration hat nun erstmals die Delokalisation von massiven Molekülen an einem Gitter nachgewiesen, das nur noch eine einzige Atomlage dick ist. Dieses Experiment lotete die technischen Grenzen der Materiewellentechnologie aus und knüpft dabei an ein Gedankenexperiment von Bohr und Einstein an. Die Ergebnisse werden aktuell im Journal "Nature Nanotechnology" veröffentlicht.

Die quantenmechanische Wellennatur der Materie ist die Grundlage für viele moderne Technologien, wie z. B. die höchstauflösende Elektronenmikroskopie, die...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Erforschung von Sauerstoffminimumzonen: Internationales Expertenteam erarbeitet Weißbuch

31.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Gravitationswellen im Einsteinjahr

28.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Strömungen in industriellen Anlagen sichtbar gemacht

28.08.2015 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Tomatensuppe für die Nanopartikel-Forschung

31.08.2015 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Erforschung von Sauerstoffminimumzonen: Internationales Expertenteam erarbeitet Weißbuch

31.08.2015 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

GI-Innovationspreis für mobiles Laser-Scanning

31.08.2015 | Förderungen Preise