Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sticky solution for identifying effective probiotics

Date:
November 25, 2009
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
Scientists have crystallized a protein that may help gut bacteria bind to the gastrointestinal tract. The protein could be used by probiotic producers to identify strains that are likely to be of real benefit to people.

Scientists have crystallised a protein that may help gut bacteria bind to the gastrointestinal tract. The protein could be used by probiotic producers to identify strains that are likely to be of real benefit to people.

"Probiotics need to interact with cells lining the gut to have a beneficial effect, and if they attach to surfaces in the gut they are more likely to stick around long enough to exert their activity," says Dr Nathalie Juge from the Institute of Food Research. IFR is an Institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which funded the research.

The gut is the largest immune system organ in the body. The cells lining the gut are covered in a protective layer of mucus that is continuously renewed by specialised cells. As well as protecting the gut lining, mucus provides an attachment site for beneficial bacteria that help maintain normal gut function.

Mucus adhesion has been well studied for pathogenic bacteria, but precisely what enables commensal (our gut bacteria) bacteria to stick is not known. In a paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, IFR and University of East Anglia scientists have obtained the first crystal structure of a mucus-binding protein.

The protein was obtained from a strain of Lactobacillus reuteri, a lactic acid bacterium naturally found in the gastrointestinal tract. Lactic acid bacteria are the most common microorganisms used as probiotics.

These mucus-binding proteins are more abundant in lactic acid bacteria than other types and particularly in strains that inhabit the gut. The presence of the proteins may contribute to the ability of lactic acid bacteria to interact with the host.

The team of scientists found that these mucus-binding proteins also recognise human immunoglobulin proteins. These are an integral part of the immune system. Mucus-binding proteins may therefore also play a wider role in gut health as a site of attachment for bacteria.

"The strain-specificity of these proteins demonstrates the need for the careful molecular design and selection of probiotics," says Dr Juge. "This also opens new avenues of research to study the fundamental roles bacteria play in the gastrointestinal tract."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Sticky solution for identifying effective probiotics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124113611.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2009, November 25). Sticky solution for identifying effective probiotics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124113611.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Sticky solution for identifying effective probiotics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124113611.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
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