Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fight infection by disturbing how bacteria communicate

Date:
December 24, 2009
Source:
University of Groningen
Summary:
Researchers have clarified the structure of an enzyme that disturbs the communication processes between bacteria. By doing so they have laid the foundations for a new method of tackling bacterial infections such as cystic fibrosis.

Researchers from the University of Groningen have clarified the structure of an enzyme that disturbs the communication processes between bacteria. By doing so they have laid the foundations for a new method of tackling bacterial infections such as cystic fibrosis. An article on the structure and function of the so-called quorum-quenching acylase was published on 21 December 2009 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Related Articles


Although bacteria are simple single-celled organisms, they are capable of communicating with each other. Bacteria talk to each other by exchanging tiny hormone-like signal molecules. By means of this process of 'quorum sensing', the activities of a large group of bacteria are synchronized. Thus bacteria can adapt quickly to changes in their environment such as the running out of nutrients or the arrival of rival microorganisms.

The production of factors that determine the virulence of a bacterium is also controlled by these signal molecules. This enables bacteria to remain invisible to the immune system in the early stages of infection. As soon as the group of informed bacteria -- the quorum -- is sufficiently large, the attack on the infected host is initiated by starting up the production of toxins and other virulence factors.

The quorum-quenching acylase of which the Groningen research team has determined the structure is capable of cutting off these signal molecules. As a result, the communication processes between pathogenic bacteria are disturbed. The enzyme turns out to suppress the virulence of the lung bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the most important pathogen for cystic fibrosis.

The clarified structure of the bacterial jammer provides insight into the precise functioning of the acylase and could be the first step in the development of a new antibacterial therapy.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Bokhove, M., Nadal Jimenez, P., Quax, W.J. and B. W. Dijkstra. The quorum-quenching N-acyl homoserine lactone acylase PvdQ is an Ntn-hydrolase with an unusual substrate-binding pocket. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2009-11839R Early Edition

Cite This Page:

University of Groningen. "Fight infection by disturbing how bacteria communicate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221130216.htm>.
University of Groningen. (2009, December 24). Fight infection by disturbing how bacteria communicate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221130216.htm
University of Groningen. "Fight infection by disturbing how bacteria communicate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091221130216.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. 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:

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