HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Study illuminates how the plague bacteria causes disease

The bacteria responsible for the plague and some forms of food poisoning "paralyze" the immune system of their hosts in an unexpected way, according to a new study in the September 8, 2006 issue of the journal Cell, published by Cell Press.

The researchers found that these bacteria, which belong to the genus Yersinia, harbor a protein that mimics an apparently unrelated mammalian enzyme. That copycat protein blocks host cells' capacity to change shape and move, abilities important for cells of the immune system to track down and "eat" foreign invaders, the researchers explained.

The discovery marks the second way in which this protein, called YpkA, compromises the immune system. Earlier studies suggested that another portion of YpkA--which may have been derived from a mammalian enzyme and later co-opted by Yersinia--has activity that also influences cell shape by a separate, though incompletely understood mechanism.

The findings offer important new insight into the factors that lend Yersinia their ability to spawn disease, the researchers said. The results might also contribute to new strategies for fighting the bug.

"Yersinia injects several virulence factors into its host," said C. Erec Stebbins of Rockefeller University. "If we can discover which ones are critical, we might identify the pathogen's Achilles heel--an attractive target for antibacterial or anti-virulence compounds."

"We were quite excited to see such a critical and unexpected factor in the virulence of Yersinia--a bacteria historically responsible for some of the worst diseases," he added. Although improvements in sanitation have eliminated acute problems from diseases caused by Yersinia, concerns remain about the possibility that an untreatable strain might arise or that the bacteria might come into use as a biological weapon, he said.

Nearly 200 million people are estimated to have died in the plague epidemics that devastated the ancient w
'"/>

Contact: Heidi Hardman
hhardman@cell.com
617-397-2879
Cell Press
7-Sep-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
2. Study finds gender differences in renal and other genes contributing to blood pressure
3. Study suggests estrogen deficiency can lead to obesity-induced high blood pressure after menopause
4. Study: Sticking to the sand might not be such good, clean fun for beachgoers
5. Study points to new way to predict death risk from torn aorta
6. Study identifies new gene therapy tools for inherited blindness
7. Study finds contaminated water reaching Floridas offshore keys
8. Study sheds light on why humans walk on two legs
9. Study explains how pathogens evolve to escape detection
10. Study finds hereditary link to premenstrual depression
11. Study identifies energy efficiency as reason for evolution of upright walking

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


(Date:8/1/2019)... ... July 31, 2019 , ... Molecular ... launch of the next generation of its FLIPR® Penta High-Throughput Cellular Screening System. ... FLIPR® platform for monitoring of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels, offering a ...
(Date:7/26/2019)... ... July 25, 2019 , ... Lemnis Technologies, ... reality headsets to include a new generation eye tracker with hassle-free calibration. The ... Angeles, California (July 30 - August 1). SIGGRAPH attendees will be able to ...
(Date:7/23/2019)... ... July 23, 2019 , ... ... bioactive glass synthetic biologic strip indicated for spine and orthopedic use. Bioactive glass ... bone. Bioactive glass has been clinically-proven in orthopedics for over 30 years and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/11/2019)... ... July 11, 2019 , ... At the most recent ... therapies to eight military Veterans under the R3 Heroes Program. The Veterans included individuals ... R3 Heroes Program allow anyone to nominate a military Veteran, teacher or first responder ...
(Date:7/2/2019)... ... July 02, 2019 , ... Leading Regenerative Veterinary Medicine company, ... Where Beasts Meet Biotech. The film focuses on regenerative veterinary medicine as a ... Pharm was recently included in the Brentwood and Pacific Palisades International Film ...
(Date:6/18/2019)... ... ... Personalized Stem Cells, Inc (“PSC”), a human adipose-derived stem cell ... of a person’s own adipose-derived stem cells to treat their osteoarthritis. The first clinical ... IND is the first of several planned clinical trials which will enable qualified PSC-enrolled ...
(Date:6/11/2019)... ... June 10, 2019 , ... ... in an upcoming episode, scheduled to broadcast 4Q/2019. Check your local listings for ... will educate viewers about how its technology facilitates laboratories to improve efficiency and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: