HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
In a tiny squid, bacterial toxin governs organ development

MADISON - In a tiny Pacific Ocean squid, a toxic molecule that causes whooping cough and gonorrhea in humans has been found to be a critical catalyst for organ development.

The toxin, produced by different types of bacteria in different hosts, is known as tracheal cytotoxin. And the astonishing discovery that it can be either good or bad - depending on its biological context - promises to rattle long-held perceptions of microbes and their role as pathogens.

The new work, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was reported this week (Nov. 12) in the journal Science.

That the same toxic molecule produced by different bacteria in different host animals plays such disparate roles - disease and massive tissue damage on the one hand, and critical organ development on the other - may force biologists to rethink the relationship between the world's many microorganisms and their host plants and animals, according to Margaret McFall-Ngai, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of medical microbiology and the corresponding author of the Science paper.

"It is all context dependent," says McFall-Ngai. "It has to be that we have mechanisms to use these molecules in different ways. Until now, molecules of a virulent nature have not been recognized as having essential roles in development."

In the diminutive Hawaiian bobtail squid, the toxin was found to spur the development of a structure, a light-producing organ that acts as a sort of "Klingon cloaking device," mimicking starlight to confuse hungry predators lurking in the depths. In humans, the same toxic molecule, produced by different species of bacteria, causes massive tissue damage in the lungs in the case of whooping cough, and in the fallopian tubes in the case of gonorrhea.

When the squid are born, they are about half the size of a grain of rice, and they must acquire the toxin-producing bacteria from their oc
'"/>

Contact: Margaret McFall-Ngai
mjmcfallngai@wisc.edu
608-262-2393
University of Wisconsin-Madison
11-Nov-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. A new plant-bacterial symbiotic mechanism promising
2. UCF professor finds bacterial pathogen may be key to understanding cancer development
3. Researchers discover acquired DNA key to certain bacterial infection
4. Hot on the TRAIL of controlling inflammation in bacterial meningitis
5. A new plant-bacterial symbiotic mechanism promising for crop applications
6. Researchers develop way to calculate speed of bacterial sex
7. Gallium: A new antibacterial agent?
8. New antibacterials being developed to tackle MRSA superbug
9. The pull of bacterial chromosome segregation
10. Green plants share bacterial toxin
11. ASU researchers test antibacterial effects of healing clays

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: tiny squid bacterial toxin governs organ development

(Date:10/17/2014)... in German . ... day in order to reproduce? And why are there two ... the latest issue of the research journal Molecular Human ... Steven Ramm from Bielefeld University Bielefeld has compiled this special ... for a female to copulate with several males in quick ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... a new synthesis of recent research findings to inform ... the two states. , The Ecology and Management ... A Synthesis of the Relevant Biophysical Science and Implications ... by the U.S. Forest Service,s Pacific Northwest Research Station, ... for a synthesis of the large body of scientific ...
(Date:10/16/2014)... 2014 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ... authentication company focused on the growing mobile commerce market ... Wocket™, the Smart Wallet, at the 13 th ... leading global conference on the intersection of technology and ... Anderson , founder and publisher of the Strategic News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Sperm wars 2New report synthesizes best available science on management of moist mixed-conifer forests 2NXT-ID Inc. to Present at 13th Annual FiRe Conference 2NXT-ID Inc. to Present at 13th Annual FiRe Conference 3
(Date:10/22/2014)... KONG , Oct. 22, 2014  aTyr Pharma ... that rare disease expert John C. McKew , ... McKew brings more than two decades of expertise in ... Institutes of Health, Wyeth Research and Genetics Institute, Inc. ... aTyr,s efforts to expand and translate its novel Physiocrine ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... 2014 Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ... a Notice of Grant Award (NGA) with the ... 1, 2014.  The NGA provides for the immediate ... of additional grant funds pursuant to the previously ... development of Asterias, product, AST-OPC1. The grant provides ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... 20, 2014 PureTech , a science ... healthcare problems, announced today the closing of a ... from Invesco Perpetual, a $120 Billion group of ... PureTech,s existing pipeline forward and to advance new ... scientific creativity to really go for the big ...
(Date:10/19/2014)... (PRWEB) October 19, 2014 The Latin ... the market in Latin America with analysis and forecast ... in 2013, and is expected to reach $2,366.8 million ... to 2018. , Browse through the TOC of the ... idea of the in-depth analysis provided. It also provides ...
Breaking Biology Technology:aTyr Pharma Appoints John C. McKew, Ph.D., as Vice President, Research 2aTyr Pharma Appoints John C. McKew, Ph.D., as Vice President, Research 3Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Notice of Grant Award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury 2Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Notice of Grant Award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury 3Asterias Biotherapeutics Announces Notice of Grant Award with CIRM for Phase 1/2a Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 in Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury 4PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 2PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 3PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 4PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 5PureTech Announces Expansion with Oversubscribed $55M Funding Round 6The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 2The Latin American hardware encryption display market is expected to reach $2,366.8 million by 2018 - New Report by MicroMarket Monitor 3
Cached News: