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 Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch
22.05.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Vielseitige Nanokugeln: Forscher bauen künstliche Zellkompartimente als molekulare Werkstatt

Wie verleiht man Zellen neue Eigenschaften ohne ihren Stoffwechsel zu behindern? Ein Team der Technischen Universität München (TUM) und des Helmholtz Zentrums München veränderte Säugetierzellen so, dass sie künstliche Kompartimente bildeten, in denen räumlich abgesondert Reaktionen ablaufen konnten. Diese machten die Zellen tief im Gewebe sichtbar und mittels magnetischer Felder manipulierbar.

Prof. Gil Westmeyer, Professor für Molekulare Bildgebung an der TUM und Leiter einer Forschungsgruppe am Helmholtz Zentrum München, und sein Team haben dies...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Kosmische Ravioli und Spätzle

Die inneren Monde des Saturns sehen aus wie riesige Ravioli und Spätzle. Das enthüllten Bilder der Raumsonde Cassini. Nun konnten Forscher der Universität Bern erstmals zeigen, wie diese Monde entstanden sind. Die eigenartigen Formen sind eine natürliche Folge von Zusammenstössen zwischen kleinen Monden ähnlicher Grösse, wie Computersimulationen demonstrieren.

Als Martin Rubin, Astrophysiker an der Universität Bern, die Bilder der Saturnmonde Pan und Atlas im Internet sah, war er verblüfft. Die Nahaufnahmen der...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Raumschrott im Fokus

Das Astronomische Institut der Universität Bern (AIUB) hat sein Observatorium in Zimmerwald um zwei zusätzliche Kuppelbauten erweitert sowie eine Kuppel erneuert. Damit stehen nun sechs vollautomatisierte Teleskope zur Himmelsüberwachung zur Verfügung – insbesondere zur Detektion und Katalogisierung von Raumschrott. Unter dem Namen «Swiss Optical Ground Station and Geodynamics Observatory» erhält die Forschungsstation damit eine noch grössere internationale Bedeutung.

Am Nachmittag des 10. Februars 2009 stiess über Sibirien in einer Höhe von rund 800 Kilometern der aktive Telefoniesatellit Iridium 33 mit dem ausgedienten...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industrie & Wirtschaft
Veranstaltungen

22. Business Forum Qualität: Vom Smart Device bis zum Digital Twin

22.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen

48V im Fokus!

21.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen

„Data Science“ – Theorie und Anwendung: Internationale Tagung unter Leitung der Uni Paderborn

18.05.2018 | Veranstaltungen

VideoLinks
Wissenschaft & Forschung
Weitere VideoLinks im Überblick >>>
 
Aktuelle Beiträge

Vielseitige Nanokugeln: Forscher bauen künstliche Zellkompartimente als molekulare Werkstatt

22.05.2018 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Mikroskopie der Zukunft

22.05.2018 | Medizintechnik

Designerzellen: Künstliches Enzym kann Genschalter betätigen

22.05.2018 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Weitere B2B-VideoLinks
IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics