Navigation Links
Prickly protein
Date:2/6/2014

A genetic mechanism that controls the production of a large spike-like protein on the surface of Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria alters the ability of the bacteria to form clumps and to cause disease, according to a new University of Iowa study.

The new study is the first to link this genetic mechanism to the production of the giant surface protein and to clumping behavior in bacteria. It is also the first time that clumping behavior has been associated with endocarditis, a serious infection of heart valves that kills 20,000 Americans each year. The findings were published in the Dec. 2103 issue of the journal PLOS Pathogens.

Under normal conditions, staph bacteria interact with proteins in human blood to form aggregates, or clumps. This clumping behavior has been associated with pathogenesis -- the ability of bacteria to cause disease. However, the mechanisms that control clumping are not well understood.

In the process of investigating how staph bacteria regulate cell-to-cell interactions, researchers at the UI Carver College of Medicine discovered a mutant strain of staph that does not clump at all in the presence of blood proteins.

Further investigation revealed that the clumping defect is due to disruption of a genetic signaling mechanism used by bacteria to sense and respond to their environment. The study shows that when the mechanism is disrupted, the giant surface protein is overproduced -- giving the cells a spiny, or "porcupine-like" appearance -- and the bacteria lose their ability to form clumps.

Importantly, the researchers led by Alexander Horswill, PhD, associate professor of microbiology, found that this clumping defect also makes the bacteria less dangerous in an experimental model of the serious staph infection, endocarditis.

Specifically, the team showed that wild type bacteria cause much larger vegetations (aggregates of bacteria) on the heart valves and are more deadly than the mutant bacteria, which are unable to form clumps. The experimental model of the disease was a good parallel to the team's test tube experiments.

"The mutant bacteria that don't clump in test tube experiments, don't form vegetations on the heart valves," Horswill explains.

The team then created a version of the mutant bacteria that was also unable to make the giant surface protein. This strain regained the ability of form clumps and also partially regained its ability to cause disease, suggesting that the surface protein is at least partly responsible for both preventing clump formation and for reducing pathogenesis.

"Our study suggests that clumping could be a target for therapy," says Horswill. "If we could find drugs that block clumping, I think they would be potentially really useful for blocking staph infections."

Staph bacteria are the most significant cause of serious infectious disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The bacteria are responsible for life-threatening conditions, including endocarditis, pneumonia, toxic shock, and sepsis. A better understanding of how staph bacteria causes disease may help improve treatment.

The team is now using screening methods to find small molecules that can block clumping. Such molecules will allow the researchers to investigate the clumping mechanism more thoroughly and may also point to therapies that might reduce the illness caused by staph infections.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Brown
jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu
319-356-7124
University of Iowa Health Care
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. NIH scientists find mechanism that helps HIV evade antibodies, stabilize key proteins
2. Critical protein discovered for healthy cell growth in mammals
3. Researchers find changes to protein SirT1
4. 2 proteins compete for 1 port on a growth factor; 1 promotes metastasis, the other blocks it
5. NCCS scientists discover gene regulation is dependent on protein ANP32E
6. Better protein capture a boon for drug manufacturers
7. Homemade Protein Bar Recipe Looks to Cut Out Extra Additives from Health Foods, Believes Carol Newman of The BioGirl Health Show
8. New NuGo Stronger: First Non-GMO High Protein Bar with rBGH-Free Whey Protein for Serious Athletes
9. Tricky protein may help HIV vaccine development
10. Research shows molecular, protein targeting therapies may be best treatment for certain lung cancer
11. Rock And Rho: Proteins that help cancer cells groove
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Prickly protein
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... In an article ... shares her enthusiasm for Botox and lip injections, which she underwent in order to ... Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The article explains that Ms. Mirmelli’s situation is ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... On Tuesday, April 26, ... the Southeast, celebrated the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB 258, the “Rural ... (R - Cumming), offers a 70% tax credit to individuals and corporations which donate ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Coast Dental Fort Stewart is celebrating ... new location in the Exchange Furniture Mall at 112 Vilseck Road in Fort Stewart. ... Smart TV. Plus attendees will have the opportunity to meet general dentists Thomas Richards, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... World Patent ... Gyrociser, an exercise invention which aids in proper muscle development. , "The Gym ... and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing. "Globalization has threatened the future growth ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Reltok Nasal Products proudly announces that ... head and neck/ear, nose and throat specialty, has added the KOTLER NASAL AIRWAY™ to ... AIRWAY™ is a newly patented safety device secured by nasal surgeons onto the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... FLINT, Mich. , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... transaction . Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO), the ... it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ... Advanced Specialty Pharmacy ("TNH"), a leading specialty pharmacy ... Van Nuys, California . In 2015, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016  Marking its one ... breast and ovarian cancer risk test, Color ... 30 genes that highly impact the most common ... today, the Color Test analyzes hereditary cancer risks ... and uterine cancers. The Color Test is physician ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 Treato , ... healthcare, announced today that it has been named a ... Vendor in Life Sciences, 2016, Stephen Davies ... report focuses on life-science- oriented analytics, algorithms and smart ... and doctors, confirm medication ingestion, and analyze unstructured information. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: