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.

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 September 21, 2014 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 September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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