HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Botulism bug says no to nitric oxide, provides key to molecule's role in human cell signaling

HOUSTON Oct. 7, 2004 (Embargoed to 1 p.m. CDT) -- A deadly bacterium's defense against a mortal molecular enemy illuminates the origins and structure of a vital protein involved in human cell signaling, University of Texas Medical School scientists report today in Science Express, the rapid online publication forum for the journal Science.

The paper also details how evolution transformed one of nature's simplest molecules, nitric oxide (NO), from a toxin to anaerobic bacteria the planet's oldest life form into a beneficial signaling molecule in higher animals. It also offers an explanation for how the decades-old practice of treating meat with sodium nitrite prevents life-threatening food poisoning known as botulism.

Discovering how botulism-causing Clostridium botulinum detects nitric oxide (NO) sheds light on how NO connects with its receptor protein in humans to govern crucial processes in the cardiovascular, neurological and immunological systems, said senior author C. S. Raman, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the Structural Biology Research Center in the UT Medical School Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

"We started by identifying the protein that the botulism bug uses to detect and evade NO," Raman said. "What we have ultimately shown is how this protein evolved from being part of a protective mechanism into a system that learned to use the toxin to benefit the organism."

In human beings, nitric oxide binds to a receptor called soluble guanylyl cyclase to make cyclic GMP, a molecule that improves blood flow by relaxing blood vessel walls. Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chairman of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology at the UT Medical School at Houston, won the Nobel prize for his 1977 finding that NO is the ingredient that makes nitroglycerine beneficial to heart patients. Since then NO has been found to govern many other vital biological functions and became the basis for me
'"/>

Contact: Scott Merville
scott.merville@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3042
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
7-Oct-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Botulism bug has few genome wrinkles
2. Botulism study could lead to new vaccines and treatments to counter bioterrorist attacks
3. U-M study offers new perspective on nitric oxide signaling in rheumatoid arthritis
4. Study links high levels of nitric oxide to infertility and sperm DNA damage
5. Inhaled nitric oxide protects premature infants brains
6. Global warming is reducing ocean life, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, say scientists
7. Female gender provides an advantage in renal diseases
8. Forecasting system provides flood warnings to vulnerable residents of Bangladesh
9. Genomics study provides insight into the evolution of unique human traits
10. Study provides new data about the laws governing embryo development in organisms
11. Sea anemone genome provides new view of our multi-celled ancestors

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


(Date:7/31/2020)... , ... July 30, 2020 , ... ... (SBIR) Phase II contract awarded by the Joint Science & Technology Office—Chemical and ... project is to develop, optimize, and scale-up a highly efficient mammalian cell culture-based ...
(Date:7/22/2020)... SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... July 21, ... ... consulting firm driving digital transformation and innovation in technology and compliance, announces a ... and medical device companies must ensure every layer of their technology stack complies ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... 17, 2020 , ... Commercial launch readiness is a critical stage in a ... cure or vaccine, the global economic downturn will only increase price pressures overall for ... and capturing full value from every product launch is critical. However, history shows that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... 2020 , ... The SDX® Respiratory Gating System , ... reached its 20th anniversary of worldwide use. Introduced in the US over the ... University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, University of California San ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... ... “We are thrilled to deliver this new technology to the industry” said Matt ... the market and we were pleased that the IFT jury recognized that.” reFRESH™ couples ... a natural way to extend the shelf life and improve the safety of perishable ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... ... today that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has expanded the company’s exclusive ... PathSensors to move into the point-of-care diagnostic market, focusing initially on the ...
(Date:7/7/2020)... ... July 06, 2020 , ... ... from Roche, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, the University of Chicago, Massachusetts General Hospital, ... has hosted an elite awards program, highlighting outstanding examples of how technology innovations ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: