Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pathway And Enzyme Unique To Deadly Tularemia Organism Discovered

Date:
February 6, 2009
Source:
University of Texas at San Antonio
Summary:
Researchers are closer to developing therapies to combat the deadly tularemia infection. Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious organism many fear could be used as a bio-weapon.

Researchers are closer to developing therapies to combat the deadly tularemia infection, according to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' online Early Edition. Karl Klose, director of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases (STCEID) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), says his lab collaborated with researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research,

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and Thomas Jefferson University in a study that discovered that Francisella tularensis makes an essential metabolic molecule, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), using a different process and different enzyme from all other living organisms.

F. tularensis is a highly infectious organism that causes morbidity and mortality in humans. Very little is known about its molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis, and no vaccine is available for protection against tularemia, the disease it causes. Consequently, there is great concern about its role as a potential bioweapon.

However, the researchers' findings are promising. Because F. tularensis makes NAD using a unique pathway that is not used by humans, that pathway can be targeted to destroy the tularemia organism without doing damage to the human host.

"There is a 'conventional' way to make NAD, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, in all living organisms studied thus far, ranging from bacteria to humans," said Klose, whose lab studies the genetics behind the virulence of F. tularensis. "Our study uncovered that Francisella makes NAD in a very unique way, using the enzyme nicotinamide mononucleotide synthetase, or NMS. The findings offer us a possible target for the development of therapeutics against tularemia."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas at San Antonio. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Texas at San Antonio. "Pathway And Enzyme Unique To Deadly Tularemia Organism Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203110551.htm>.
University of Texas at San Antonio. (2009, February 6). Pathway And Enzyme Unique To Deadly Tularemia Organism Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203110551.htm
University of Texas at San Antonio. "Pathway And Enzyme Unique To Deadly Tularemia Organism Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203110551.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
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