Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Communication Breakdown: New Strategy May Be Valid Alternative To Traditional Antibiotics

Date:
August 4, 2009
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Certainly there is strength in numbers, but only if those numbers can effectively communicate with one another. Now, a new study finds that administration of a novel small molecule which effectively disrupts a key bacterial communication process protects an animal host from infection. The research may lead to more effective treatments for bacterial infection that won't encourage growth of treatment resistant bacteria.

Certainly there is strength in numbers, but only if those numbers can effectively communicate with one another. Now, a new study finds that administration of a novel small molecule which effectively disrupts a key bacterial communication process protects an animal host from infection. The research, published in the July 31st issue of the journal Molecular Cell, may lead to more effective treatments for bacterial infection that won't encourage growth of treatment resistant bacteria.

Related Articles


Bacteria use a process called "quorum sensing" to communicate information about population density and to synchronously engage in group behaviors that promote bacterial pathogenesis. "Quorum sensing allows bacteria to collectively carry out tasks that would be unsuccessful if carried out by an individual bacterium acting alone," explains senior study author Dr. Bonnie L. Bassler from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University.

During the process of quorum sensing, bacteria communicate via chemical signals called autoinducers. Autoinducers bind to receptors, called LuxR-type proteins, located inside the bacteria, or to receptors called LuxN proteins located in the bacterial membrane. In an earlier study, Dr. Bassler and colleagues discovered a class of small molecules that prevented a key autoinducer called acylhomoserine lactone (AHL) from binding to LuxN. Although LuxN and LuxR are not structurally similar, Dr. Bassler's team hypothesized that since both bind to AHLs, both may respond to the small molecule antagonists.

In the current study, the researchers demonstrated that the small molecule previously shown to block LuxN-type receptors is also a potent antagonist of LuxR receptors. This finding was somewhat surprising as these proteins are not evolutionarily related and exhibit vast differences in receptor localization, structure and signaling mechanisms. Importantly, the most potent antagonist protected nematode worms from quorum sensing-mediated killing by Chromobacterium violaceum, a human pathogen that frequently infects people through lacerated skin.

"Our results make a strong case and provide compelling evidence that an anti-quorum-sensing strategy is a valid alternative to traditional antibiotics and that there is merit to pursuing the clinical relevance of such strategies," offers Dr. Bassler. The work is also significant in that treatments based on disruption of quorum sensing interfere only with bacterial signaling and not growth, potentially minimizing the sometimes devastating development of bacteria that are resistant to treatment.

The researchers include Lee R. Swem, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD; Danielle L. Swem, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD; Colleen T. O'Loughlin, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY; Raleene Gatmaitan, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY; Bixiao Zhao, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Scott M. Ulrich, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY; and Bonnie L. Bassler, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Communication Breakdown: New Strategy May Be Valid Alternative To Traditional Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121035.htm>.
Cell Press. (2009, August 4). Communication Breakdown: New Strategy May Be Valid Alternative To Traditional Antibiotics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121035.htm
Cell Press. "Communication Breakdown: New Strategy May Be Valid Alternative To Traditional Antibiotics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121035.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Brawling Pandas Are Violently Adorable

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) Video of pandas play fighting at the Chengdu Research Base in China will make your day. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

3-D Printed Wheelchair Helps Two-Legged Dog Learn to Run

Buzz60 (Jan. 29, 2015) 3-D printing helps another two-legged dog run around with his four-legged friends. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the adorable video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

Dogs Bring on So Many Different Emotions in Their Human Best Friends

RightThisMinute (Jan. 28, 2015) From new-puppy happy tears to helpful-grocery-carrying-dog laughter, our four-legged best friends can make us feel the entire spectrum of emotions. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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