HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Are bacteria turning our own weapons against us?

Scientists have identified what may be a completely new way in which bacteria defend themselves against their hosts. The bacteria have stolen a key defensive gene from the very animals that they are invading and are now using it against them. This research from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is featured in today's issue of the open access journal Genome Biology.

EMBL Team Leader Toby Gibson points out that such a discovery has clear medical implications. "This study gives us insight into how infectious bacteria function microbes that cause diseases such as pneumonia, whooping cough and plague are using our own gene against us," he explains. "With this new information, we could potentially produce antibodies to give our immune systems a way to identify the bacteria and block the activity of these weapons."

The gene in question makes a blood protein called alpha-2-macroglobulin, or α2m. This protein and its relatives have been studied in many different animals, and all have a similar function: defending the organism against attacking parasites.

TEPs are α2m-type proteins being studied in the mosquito by EMBL malaria researchers Stephanie Blandin and Elena Levashina. The mosquito is an interesting animal to study such defense proteins its blood-sucking lifestyle brings along a steady stream of invaders. "These α2m-type genes are a strong line of defense they trap molecules that parasites use to attack our cells," notes Blandin. The malaria researchers wanted to learn more about the evolution of TEP, so they enlisted the help of the Gibson team, including PhD student Aidan Budd.

Their findings were completely unexpected.

"During a search for genes similar to TEPs, we were very surprised to discover a bacterial α2m gene - there are no previous reports of such a finding," says Budd.

EMBL Scientists predict that the α2m is used by a bacterium to protect itself from attack
'"/>

Contact: Trista Dawson
dawson@embl.de
49-622-138-7452
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
25-May-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Researchers find color sensitive atomic switch in bacteria
2. Cancer vaccine based on pathogenic listeria bacteria shows promise targeting metastases
3. Researchers create nanotubes that change colors, form nanocarpet and kill bacteria
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. 22nd amino acid synthesized and added to genetic code of e. coli bacteria
6. Missing genes may help explain why plague bacteria are so deadly
7. Complex cells likely arose from combination of bacterial and extreme-microbe genomes
8. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
9. UC Irvine scientists to develop vaccine to combat bioterrorism threat from deadly bacteria
10. UV light, coatings reduce bacterial adhesion up to 50 percent
11. PCB breakdown in rivers depends on sediment-specific bacteria, find Carnegie Mellon U. scientists

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/8/2020)... Ariz. (PRWEB) , ... January 08, 2020 , ... ... therapies, is now offering complimentary overnight shipping to its nationwide practice network ... biologics, but also due to volume in its Network the biologics themselves are ...
(Date:12/30/2019)... ... December 30, 2019 , ... Cure Now ? Instead of ... disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. , ... or other dementia. ,     These caregivers provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours ...
(Date:12/18/2019)... ... December 17, 2019 , ... EconoFact, a non-profit media initiative ... Fletcher School, Tufts University, is pleased to announce a collaboration with Macmillan Learning ... using Macmillan Learning’s acclaimed series of economics textbooks. , Under the agreement, Macmillan ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/7/2020)... United Kingdom (PRWEB) , ... January 07, 2020 ... ... of recombinant antibody products and services, today announced the launch of its VivopureX™ ... of popular antibody clones, many originally obtained from rats or hamsters, which Absolute ...
(Date:1/7/2020)... ... 2020 , ... ABCT , the Accelerator for Biosciences ... participate in the annual program. Twelve ventures will participate in the 6.5-month-long program ... All startups will receive an entrepreneur coach, access to active business professionals and ...
(Date:12/27/2019)... EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. (PRWEB) , ... December ... ... premier manufacturer of custom built, helium-based leak testing instruments for the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, ... its first calendar year under new management . Following acquisition by CLJ ...
(Date:12/18/2019)... ... December 17, 2019 , ... ... is pleased to announce that it has hired Dr. Alia Orbin, Ph.D., J.D., ... is experienced in the preparation, filing and prosecution of patent applications related to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: