Scientists image key steps in bacterial infection

St. Louis, Aug. 12, 1999 -- For the first time, scientists have obtained 3-D snapshots of crucial steps in bacterial infection. One set of X-ray images should aid in the fight against bladder infection. A second set captures a key event in kidney infection. The two papers appear in the Aug. 13 issue of Science.

"These are the first detailed snapshots of the basis for an interaction between a disease-causing bacterium and its host," says Scott J. Hultgren, Ph.D., professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Hultgren heads the research program that spawned the two imaging studies, and he is a co-author of the two papers.

Over the past 10 years, Hultgren's group has determined how E. coli makes sticky hairs called pili, which many other types of bacteria produce as well. These hairs enable bacteria to cling to tissue instead of getting swept away by bodily fluids such as urine. When bald, the bacteria cannot cause infections. So preventing pili from being made or doing their job should be an effective, new antimicrobial strategy.

Hultgren's team has identified the major players in pilus assembly. These include:

  • protein subunits that eventually are assembled into pili,
  • boomerang-shaped proteins called chaperones that ferry the subunits to the bacterial cell surface,
  • doughnut-shaped proteins called ushers that assemble and extrude pili.

The first pilus subunits to emerge through the usher are different from the rest. These adhesins give the pilus the sticky tip that enables the bacterium to get a toehold in human tissue. Hultgren and colleagues previously showed that E. coli lacking adhesin is unable to infect the bladder. And in collaboration with MedImmune Inc., they demonstrated in a mouse model that the adhesin is an effective vaccine -- it primes the immune system to disarm any E. coli that carry the same protein. Hultgren also has been collaborating with a drug

Contact: Linda Sage
Washington University School of Medicine

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
8. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
9. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
10. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
11. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins

Post Your Comments:

(Date:1/25/2019)... ... January 24, 2019 , ... GrowthZone, Inc., provider ... The report indicates membership growth in some sectors and decreasing membership among others. ... responses from over 500 association professionals across North America. , “This year’s ...
(Date:1/20/2019)... ... January 16, 2019 , ... uBiome, the leader ... platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and a data-centric approach to decentralize medicine ... ulcerative colitis. , People will Crohn’s or other chronic medical conditions join a ...
(Date:1/14/2019)... ... 14, 2019 , ... Join the live session ... key topics in data quality, including:, ,     State of the ...     Smartphone and wearable based performance measures ,     Data quality analytics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/30/2019)... WORCESTER, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... January 29, 2019 ... ... it tell when someone is frustrated over something like a tricky math problem ... A research team led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) computer science assistant professor ...
(Date:1/28/2019)... , ... January 28, 2019 , ... ... of low molecular weight compounds. In this early stage, false positives can be ... same time, it is vital that screening techniques are highly sensitive to detect ...
(Date:1/24/2019)... ... January 23, 2019 , ... Through its ... research support in study design, planning, sample collection, and analysis to researchers at ... Campus in Trinidad led by Dr. Elaine Monica Davis, MBBS, MPhil, Lecturer of ...
(Date:1/20/2019)... ... ... The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) is proud to ... for 2019. Designed by ASGCT committee volunteers in coordination with patient advocacy groups, the ... on the status and promise of gene and cell therapies. , Gene Therapy ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: