Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 


New type of bacterial protection found within cells

UCI study reveals novel immune system response to infections
UC Irvine biologists have discovered that fats within cells store a class of proteins with potent antibacterial activity, revealing a previously unknown type of immune system response that targets and kills bacterial infections.

Steven Gross, UCI professor of developmental & cell biology, and colleagues identified this novel intercellular role of histone proteins in fruit flies, and it could herald a new approach to fighting bacterial growth within cells. The study appears today in eLife, a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust.

“We found that these histone proteins have pan-antibacterial abilities and can have a wide-ranging effect,” Gross said. “If we can discover how to manipulate the system to increase histone levels, we may one day have a new way to treat patients with bad bacterial infections.”

Histones exist in large numbers in most animal cells; their primary job is to help DNA strands fold into compact and robust structures inside the nucleus. Gross said there is some evidence that histones secreted from cells protect against bacteria living outside cells. However, many bacteria enter cells, where they can avoid the immune system and continue replicating.

In principle, Gross said, histones could protect cells against such bacteria from the inside, but for many years this was thought unlikely because most histones are bound to DNA strands in the cell nucleus, whereas bacteria multiply in the cellular fluid outside the nucleus, called cytosol. Additionally, free histones can be extremely damaging to cells, so most species have developed mechanisms to detect and degrade free histones in the cytosol.

In their study, Gross and colleagues demonstrate that histones bound to lipid (fat) droplets can protect cells against bacteria without causing any of the harm normally associated with the presence of free histones. In experiments with lipid droplets purified from Drosophila fruit fly embryos, they show that lipid-bound histones can be released to kill bacteria.

The researchers injected similar numbers of bacteria into Drosophila embryos that contained lipid-bound histones and into embryos genetically modified to not contain them. They discovered that the histone-deficient flies were 14 times more likely to die of bacterial infections. Similar results were found in experiments on adult flies. Additional evidence suggested that histones might also protect mice against bacteria.

“Because numerous studies have now identified histones on lipid droplets in many different cells — from humans as well as mice and flies — it seems likely that this system may be quite general,” Gross said.

Preetha Anand, Silvia Cermelli, Robilyn Sigua and Lan Huang of UCI; Zhihuan Li and Michael Welte of New York’s University of Rochester; Adam Kassan, Marta Bosch and Albert Pol of the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain; and Andre Ouellette of USC contributed to the study (Anand et al. eLife 2012;1:e00003. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.00003), which was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants GM64624 and GM64687), the National Science Foundation and the Spanish Ministry of Science & Innovation.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,400 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.3 billion. For more UCI news, visit

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.

Tom Vasich | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Tissue-engineered colon from human cells develop different types of neurons
02.10.2015 | Children's Hospital Los Angeles

nachricht Big eyes! – MDC Researchers Identify Cause of Inherited Form of Extreme Nearsightedness
02.10.2015 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neue Sinumerik-Funktionen steigern Produktivität und Genauigkeit

EMO 2015, Halle 3, Stand E06/F03

  • Antriebsoptimierung aus Teileprogramm ermöglicht höhere Produktivität
  • Automatische Umschaltung der Dynamikwerte für Eilgang und Bearbeitung steigert Qualität...

Im Focus: New Sinumerik features improve productivity and precision

EMO 2015, Hall 3, Booth E06/F03

  • Drive optimization called automatically by the part program boosts productivity
  • Automatically switching the dynamic values to rapid traverse and interpolation...

Im Focus: LZH zeigt additive Fertigung auf der LABVOLUTION

Das Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) zeigt vom 6. bis zum 8. Oktober 2015 auf der LABVOLUTION in Hannover in Halle 9, Stand E67/09 wie laserbasierte Technologien zum Labor der Zukunft beitragen können. Als Teil des Musterlabors smartLAB präsentiert das LZH, wie die additive Fertigung, besser bekannt als 3D-Druck, Versuchsaufbauten flexibler gestalten kann.

Zwölf Partner aus Wissenschaft und Industrie stellen auf der Sonderausstellung smartLAB ein intelligentes und innovatives Musterlabor vor. Teil dieses...

Im Focus: LZH presents additive manufacturing at the LABVOLUTION

The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will present how laser-based technologies can contribute to the laboratory of the future at the LABVOLUTION in Hannover in Hall 9, Stand E67/09, from October 6th to 8th, 2015. As a part of the model lab smartLAB, the LZH is showing how additive manufacturing, better known as 3-D printing, can make experimental setups more flexible.

Twelve partners from science and industry are presenting an intelligent and innovative model lab at the special display smartLAB. A part of this intelligent...

Im Focus: New polymer creates safer fuels

Before embarking on a transcontinental journey, jet airplanes fill up with tens of thousands of gallons of fuel. In the event of a crash, such large quantities of fuel increase the severity of an explosion upon impact.

Researchers at Caltech and JPL have discovered a polymeric fuel additive that can reduce the intensity of postimpact explosions that occur during accidents and...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>



im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics

Batterietagung im April 2016 in Münster

02.10.2015 | Veranstaltungen

EEHE 2016 – Call for Papers endet am 28.10.2015!

02.10.2015 | Veranstaltungen

HDT-Tagung: 16. Essener Brandschutztage

01.10.2015 | Veranstaltungen

Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Neue Sinumerik-Funktionen steigern Produktivität und Genauigkeit

02.10.2015 | Messenachrichten

Exklusives Design für die Raumbedienung mit den neuen KNX-Tastsensoren

02.10.2015 | Architektur Bauwesen

Schutz aus Glas gegen vielerlei Gefahren: Feuer, Beschuss, Vandalismus und UV-Strahlen

02.10.2015 | Materialwissenschaften