Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Zipper Proteins Hook Up Bacteria And Humans

Date:
May 9, 2003
Source:
Texas A&M University System Health Science Center
Summary:
Disease causing bacteria may use a specialized zipper to attach to human cells, according to a paper in the May 8 issue of Nature. The discovery may help shed light on how certain pathogens invade host cells.

The goal of Magnus Höök's research is to understand the molecular processes that allow bacteria to cause infections. The threat of bacterial infections has become a worldwide concern as many bacteria have developed resistance to previously effective antibiotics. Old pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus have emerged as "super bugs" that are hard to treat using commercially available antibiotics. Lately, bacteria used as terrorist weapons have also become a threat to our society.

Höök runs an award-winning laboratory at The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center's Institute of Biosciences and Technology (IBT), located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. His lab's newest research is featured in the May 8 issue of Nature. Teaming up with scientists at Oxford University, UK, they found that disease-causing bacteria might use a specialized zipper mechanism to attach to human cells. The discovery may help shed light on how certain bacteria can invade cells of humans.

"We found that many Staphylococci and Streptococci produce a surface protein that can act as a zipper," Höök explains. Bacteria use this zipper to associate with fibronectin, a protein that links to specific receptors on human cells, allowing the bacteria to gain entry to the host cell.

The report in Nature highlights a novel mechanism for protein-protein interaction and reveals important details of how bacteria cause infections. As bacteria become increasingly drug resistant and cause sometimes-lethal infections, research breakthroughs like Höök's are of critical importance in the search for new strategies to combat these potentially deadly microbes.

The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its five components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology and the School of Rural Public Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. "Zipper Proteins Hook Up Bacteria And Humans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030509090033.htm>.
Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. (2003, May 9). Zipper Proteins Hook Up Bacteria And Humans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030509090033.htm
Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. "Zipper Proteins Hook Up Bacteria And Humans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030509090033.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) — An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins