HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Enzyme revealed that is key to fungus's ability to breach immune system

DURHAM, N.C. A newly discovered mechanism by which an infectious fungus evades the immune system could lead to novel methods to fight the fungus and other disease-causing microbes, according to Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators at Duke University Medical Center.

Disruption of a key enzyme in the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans a common cause of infection of the central nervous system in patients such as organ transplant recipients who lack a functioning immune system -- led to a significant loss of fungal virulence in mice, the team found. That loss of virulence stemmed from the fungus's inability to launch a counterattack against components of the innate immune system, the body's first line of defense against infection, the study showed.

The Duke-based team -- led by HHMI geneticist Joseph Heitman, M.D., director of Duke's Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, and HHMI biochemist Jonathan Stamler, M.D. -- reported their findings in the Nov. 11, 2003, issue of Current Biology. The work was funded by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

The "fungal defense" enzyme, called flavohemoglobin, is prevalent among many bacterial and fungal pathogens, Heitman said, which suggests that the findings in Cryptococcus are likely relevant to other infectious microbes. New drugs that target these enzymes might therefore represent effective treatments for a wide range of infectious diseases, he said.

The human immune system uses a two-pronged mechanism to fight infection: a rapid innate response and a slower adaptive response that depends on the production of antibodies. Key components of the innate immune system are "search-and-destroy" cells called macrophages that engulf and kill invading pathogens. Macrophages kill infectious microbes using a combination of oxidants, including hydrogen peroxide, nitric oxide and related molecules.

"The body must rely on macrophages of the in
'"/>

Contact: Kendall Morgan
kendall.morgan@duke.edu
919-684-4148
Duke University Medical Center
10-Nov-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Enzyme maintaining chromosome ends is linked to bone cancer recurrence, decreased survival
2. Enzyme activation appears key in helping internal clock tell night from day
3. Enzyme fully degrades mad cow disease prion
4. Enzyme discovery sheds light on causes of rare disease, cancer
5. Enzyme could overcome industrial bleaching waste problems
6. Enzyme controls good cholesterol
7. Enzyme discovery to benefit homeland security, industry
8. Enzyme could aid cancer fight
9. Enzyme once thought harmful to Alzheimers patients now appears key to future treatment
10. Enzyme mimetic reduces tissue damage in colitis animal study
11. Enzyme studies at Brookhaven Lab may lead to new antiviral agents

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


(Date:3/9/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Murrieta Genomics , the genomic sequencing business incubator, is ... University of California Riverside’s EPIC SBDC focused on research funding by U.S. Small Business ... March 17, 2019. The location is the Highlander Union Building, Room 302 South on ...
(Date:3/9/2019)... ... March 08, 2019 , ... On International Women’s ... new initiative focused on women in the field. The Women in Cancer ... to celebrate and empower emerging female leaders in the cancer immunotherapy field. , ...
(Date:3/5/2019)... ... March 05, 2019 , ... Join this live ... metadata-driven approach will help data analysts and bioinformaticians focus on data analysis without worrying ... that can come from different source systems. Some sources of data include:, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/18/2019)... ... March 18, 2019 , ... For more than 15 years, USDM ... allow life science companies to easily comply with FDA 21 CFR Part 11 and ... a managed service delivering end-to-end GxP compliance from vendor audit through ongoing validation maintenance, ...
(Date:3/14/2019)... ... 2019 , ... The growth in the number and complexity of regulations as ... Regulatory intelligence (RI) systems are not keeping ... Insights faster and cheaper. With a diversity of information sources, identifying and analyzing context ...
(Date:3/14/2019)... ... March 13, 2019 , ... Murrieta Genomics , the genomic sequencing ... specific and broader business experience to bear as genomic sequencing startups build their business ... knowledge and expertise that our Advisory Board brings to the table. Many of these ...
(Date:3/12/2019)... Colo. (PRWEB) , ... March 11, 2019 , ... ... the first hospital system in Colorado, and among the first in the nation, ... scores around lab draws, IV placement and overall degree to which staff showed ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: