HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
In mapping the structure of short-lived bacterial 'switches,' biochemist may find novel answer to antibiotic resistance

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Atom by atom, a Brandeis University researcher and her colleagues have unmasked the structure of ephemeral protein "switches" that play a critical role in transforming mild-mannered bacteria into lethal parasites. The finding, reported in the Dec. 23 issue of the journal Nature, raises the prospect of a novel kind of antibiotic to fill the void left by growing resistance among many bacteria to traditional drugs.

The research, led by Brandeis biochemist Dorothee Kern, also involved scientists from the University of Wisconsin, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of California at Berkeley.

Current-generation antibiotics, which kill off normal strains of bacteria while leaving resistant ones unaffected, essentially select for the survival of resistant strains, sometimes inducing resistance in as little as six months. The protein family Kern describes in the Nature paper represents a potential target for a whole new class of antibiotics to specifically prevent pathogenic bacteria from becoming virulent and attacking the body's cells.

"Most conventional antibiotics work by inhibiting processes essential to cell viability, such as DNA translation or the assembly of cell membranes," says Kern, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Brandeis. "Few attempts have been made to target the mechanisms by which pathogenic bacteria become virulent and infect host cells."

Part of a two-component system that dominates signal transduction in bacteria, the phosphate-juggling protein switch mapped out by Kern and her colleagues works by snatching a single phosphate ion from the amino acid histidine. The phosphorylated protein then binds to bacterial DNA, turning on genes such as those that instigate infection. These protein switches are ubiquitous in bacteria, but aren't found in humans -- making them an ideal target for antibiotics.

The protein switch studied by Kern is part of
'"/>

Contact: Steve Bradt
bradt@brandeis.edu
781-736-4203
Brandeis University
22-Dec-1999


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Gene mapping key to unlocking human secrets, says geneticist
2. Barn owls steer Stanford researcher to clues about visual and auditory mapping
3. International consortium launches genetic variation mapping project
4. Infrared antenna for nano-size mapping of crystal vibrations
5. Rutgers scientists mapping DNA links to complex diseases
6. Protecting the rice bowl: Chromosomal mapping of the rice blast fungus
7. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
8. Emory researchers map structure of anti-cancer molecule
9. Argonne scientists determine structure of staph, anthrax enzyme
10. UCSD undergraduates participate in collaborative studies abroad on cyberinfrastructure
11. Crystal structure for anthrax-cell binding complex

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


(Date:2/2/2019)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... January ... ... a clinical research organization headquartered in Morrisville, NC, providing full, customizable clinical ... with LaunchBio, Inc. to support educational programs for early stage life science ...
(Date:1/25/2019)... SAN FRANCISCO (PRWEB) , ... January 24, 2019 ... ... addition of Dr. Julia Oh, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the Jackson ... and doctors from around the world, Dr. Oh will bring to uBiome expertise ...
(Date:1/24/2019)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... January 23, 2019 ... ... announced today that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the United ... “Microparticle Multiplexing” filed by its affiliate company, DNA Medicine Institute (DMI). This application ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/30/2019)... ... 30, 2019 , ... Through its Microbiome Grant Initiative ... study design, planning, sample collection, and analysis to a team of researchers at ... study the interactions between gut microbial composition and cardiovascular health risks, such as ...
(Date:1/24/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Outsourcing trials to contract research organizations (CRO) ... RFP creation and management generally requires manual effort. Additionally, each vendor organizes tasks ... challenges can ultimately lead to study start delays and change orders because tasks ...
(Date:1/20/2019)... ... January 17, 2019 , ... The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy ... , a new initiative for 2019. Designed by ASGCT committee volunteers in coordination with ... families, and the public on the status and promise of gene and cell therapies. ...
(Date:1/11/2019)... ... January 11, 2019 , ... Boekel Scientific ... collection of donor blood. This advanced and intuitive medical device was designed ... the functionality needed for the busiest donor stations with new-to-the industry features to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: