Navigation Links
Driver of anthrax toxicity could lead to late-stage therapy

A study in the March 24 Cell reports the discovery of a gene that drives anthrax bacteria's toxic effects. The gene could offer a potential new target for countermeasures against the lethal toxin, according to the researchers.

Such therapies might have the potential to protect against anthrax during the late stages of the disease, after antibiotics have lost their therapeutic value, they added.

The team found that human cells deficient in the so-called LDL receptor-related protein (LRP6) become resistant to anthrax toxin. Furthermore, antibodies against LRP6 protected cells from anthrax toxicity, reported study authors Wensheng Wei and Stanley Cohen of the Stanford University School of Medicine in collaboration with others at Stanford and the National Institutes of Health. The level of anthrax protection afforded by the antibodies rose with increasing dose.

Anthrax is a lethal disease of humans and other animals caused by the spore-forming bacteria Bacillus anthracis, which has been the focus of biological interest and bioterrorism concern. The virulence of the bacteria depends on separate complexes formed by interaction of a carrier protein, protective antigen, with lethal and edema factors responsible for the toxic effects and swelling that impairs the host's immune response.

In the current study, the researchers inactivated genes randomly in human cells. They then examined the mutated cells for resistance to anthrax toxin in an effort to identify host genes that have important roles in infection, with the hope of finding possible new targets for therapies aimed at the host instead of the bacteria. The method allows for the identification of required host cell genes without pre-conceptions about their potential to play a role, the study authors said.

The study revealed that LRP6 acts as a co-receptor, enabling cells to take up anthrax toxin through its interactions with two distinct cell- surface proteins earlier shown to bi nd the "protective antigen carrier" of anthrax toxin, allowing its delivery into cells.

The new findings "reveal a previously unsuspected biological role" for LRP6, a gene earlier found to play important roles in pathways underlying early development and cell proliferation, the researchers said. The discovery also suggests potential new avenues for treating late-stage anthrax disease, they added.

While antibiotics, such as Cipro, can fight the anthrax bacteria when the disease is caught early, such drugs do nothing to dispel the accumulated toxin, the researchers explained. In contrast, drugs that target the host protein LRP6, or other components of the host machinery integral to the toxin's internalization, might offer a novel method to prevent the toxin from infiltrating and killing cells.

"Our discovery of the role of LRP6 in anthrax toxicity and the demonstration that antibodies directed against the extracellular domain of LRP6 can protect cells grown in culture against killing by anthrax toxin suggest that the immunological targeting of LRP6 may prove useful in protecting against the effects of accumulated toxin during the late stages of anthrax disease when antibacterial methods normally are no longer of therapeutic value," the researchers wrote.


'"/>

Source:Cell Press


Related biology news :

1. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
2. Antibodies from plants protect against anthrax
3. Defensins neutralize anthrax toxin
4. Critical step traced in anthrax infection
5. US Army plans to bulk-buy anthrax
6. New antibody shows promise as cure for anthrax
7. Effective, safe anthrax vaccine can be grown in tobacco plants
8. UCSD study finds anthrax toxins also harmful to fruit flies
9. Scientists design potent anthrax toxin inhibitor
10. Newly discovered protein kills anthrax bacteria by exploding their cell walls
11. Combating anthrax: Results of study published this month as researchers look for a better vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/5/2017)... KEY FINDINGS The global market for stem ... 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. The rise ... growth of the stem cell market. Download ... The global stem cell market is segmented on the ... cell market of the product is segmented into adult ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 The research team ... for three-dimensional (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint ... new realm of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime ... affordable cost. ... A ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A ... pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer ... age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob ... at his local San Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem ... CA and had 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... experience providing advanced instruments and applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, ... in application consulting, Nanoscience Analytical offers a broad range of contract analysis ...
Breaking Biology Technology: