HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Bacteria have their own immune system protecting against outside DNA

Bacteria like Salmonella have a complicated immune system that helps them recognize and isolate foreign DNA trying to invade their cell membrane, according to a University of Washington-led study in the June 8 issue of Science Express. The research, which also included scientists at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in San Diego, could have major implications for understanding the evolution of disease-causing bacteria. The findings may also impact the biotech industry, where bacteria are used to produce recombinant human proteins for medical treatments and research.

A group of researchers led by Dr. Ferric Fang, professor of laboratory medicine and microbiology at the UW School of Medicine, were interested in learning how bacteria respond to genetic information coming from outside sources. Just as immune cells recognize and attack foreign invaders in the human body to protect against harmful infections, single-cell organisms have a protein called H-NS that recognizes foreign DNA and prevents it from becoming active, the researchers discovered.

But bacteria can also benefit from foreign DNA. When Salmonella is infecting an animal or person, for instance, many proteins the bacteria need to cause disease are encoded by DNA acquired from other bacteria. The researchers found that when the bacteria is infecting a host, other molecules can compete with the H-NS protein, allowing the disease-causing genes to be expressed. When the bacteria are in the environment, H-NS turns these genes off to avoid detrimental consequences if all the disease-causing genes were to be expressed at once.

These findings give scientists new insight into how bacteria can protect themselves from an invasion by foreign DNA, yet still take in genetic information from diverse sources that makes them more virulent.

"By harnessing foreign DNA, bacteria that cause typhoid, dysentery, cholera and plague have evolved from harmless organisms into feared pathogens," explained Dr. Willia
'"/>

Contact: Justin Reedy
jreedy@u.washington.edu
206-685-0382
University of Washington
8-Jun-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Bacteria may not hasten death
2. A friendly foe -- Bacteria residing in the gut boost immune response to tumors
3. Bacteria ferry nanoparticles into cells for early diagnosis, treatment
4. Bacteria show promise in fending off global amphibian killer
5. Bacteria control how infectious they become, study finds
6. Better together: Bacterial endosymbionts are essential for the reproduction of a fungus
7. Bacterial response to oxidation studied as toxin barometer
8. Bacteria from patients dental plaque causes ventilator-associated pneumonia
9. Bacterial walls come tumbling down
10. Bacteria could steady buildings against earthquakes
11. Bacteria research offers hope for new vaccine against meningococci

Post Your Comments:
(Date:7/30/2014)... ranges and a changing climate threaten some of ... and so conservationists establish seed collections to save ... hopes of preserving some genetic diversity., For decades, ... models that offer a one-size-fits-all approach for how ... 50 seed samples regardless of species, pollination mode, ...
(Date:7/30/2014)... CHAMPAIGN, Ill. Scientists are searching through a massive ... more than 50 years ago, and the effort is ... world they inhabited. , When the collection is fully ... will be the largest unbiased Dominican amber collection in ... most striking discovery thus far is that of a ...
(Date:7/30/2014)... subject of major interest in neuroscience. A large ... distinct stages of Wallerian degeneration: transcription factor activation, ... gene expression responses in the distal segment of ... known, differences in gene expression between the proximal ... and co-workers from Nantong University, China used microarrays ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Saving seeds the right way can save the world's plants 2Decades-old amber collection offers new views of a lost world 2
(Date:7/30/2014)... NCERC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville ... on corn stover pretreatment methods at a U.S. ... D.C. , “Arun’s selection for presentation at ... to the success of our postdoctoral fellowship program,” ... foresight and vision of SIUE and the Illinois ...
(Date:7/30/2014)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) July 30, 2014 ... Pipette.com announced their weighing boat special – ... Get 1 free. This promotion will benefit lab technicians ... their work. Weighing boats are ideal for multiple applications ... Pipette.com offers a variety of choices including diamond-shaped, hexagonal, ...
(Date:7/29/2014)... MA (PRWEB) July 30, 2014 ... (UC) and collaboration company, is proud to announce ... account management positions in their Boston, Charleston and ... response to the increased demand for hosted solutions, ... operational efficiency and reduce cost. , SoundConnect was ...
(Date:7/29/2014)... WA (PRWEB) July 29, 2014 The ... of the brain that are driving a revolution in ... a new peer-reviewed journal published by SPIE, the ... first issue coincides with the launch of the BRAIN ... features articles that lay out a vision for and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:NCERC at SIUE Researcher Takes Stage at Department of Energy Conference 2NCERC at SIUE Researcher Takes Stage at Department of Energy Conference 3Weighing Boat Promotion Now Available at Pipette.com, Major Pipette Distributor 2SoundConnect Organization and Culture is Evolving 2SPIE Launches 'Neurophotonics' Journal with Special Section on BRAIN Initiative 2SPIE Launches 'Neurophotonics' Journal with Special Section on BRAIN Initiative 3SPIE Launches 'Neurophotonics' Journal with Special Section on BRAIN Initiative 4
Cached News: