Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mutant gene lessens devastation of flesh-eating bacteria

Date:
January 3, 2010
Source:
Methodist Hospital, Houston
Summary:
Scientists recently discovered a simple gene mutation that decreases the chance people will get a flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fasciitis. Further, they proved that inactivating this section of the gene lessens the devastating disease in humans.

Scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston recently discovered a simple gene mutation that decreases the chance people will get a flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fasciitis. Further, they proved that inactivating this section of the gene lessens the devastating disease in humans.

Related Articles


Results of this research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, recently appear online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"The study of genomics has opened a wealth of information on how disease develops on a molecular level," said Musser, co-director of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute. "When we identify a gene mutation that has a direct effect on a disease -- like we have done for the flesh-eating bacteria -- this opens up doors to designing drugs that provide treatments and cures."

Necrotizing fasciitis is rare but serious. It is lethal in approximately 30 percent of those who develop it. The most common cause is the group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria, the same bacteria that causes step throat.

"Single-nucleotide changes are the most common cause of natural genetic variation among members of the same species, but there is remarkably little information on how these common genetic mutations affect the infectious and damaging nature of some bacteria," Musser said. "It is one of these single-nucleotide mutations in the GAS genome that is associated with decreased human necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh eating disease."

Dr. James Musser and his team analyzed the genomic sequences of 12 GAS strains taken from patients with several strep-related diseases, including necrotizing fasciitis. This analysis revealed a naturally occurring mutation in the strep genome that decreases necrotizing fasciitis in humans. It also showed that the mutation caused a segment of the gene to "turn off," which reduced the disease's ability to destroy soft tissue, spread from the infection site, and cause human necrotizing fasciitis and death.

About the study Musser's lab compared 255 GAS genomes collected from patients in Ontario, Canada, over an 11-year period, to genomes of the 12 strains found in patients with the mutation, a naturally occurring single-nucleotide insertion in the MtsR (metal transporter of streptococcus regulator) gene. Using an integrated systems biology strategy, the study showed that the MtsR mutation results in early termination of the MtsR protein, and that MtsR inactivation is responsible for the decreased necrotizing fasciitis phenotype observed in human patients.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Methodist Hospital, Houston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Methodist Hospital, Houston. "Mutant gene lessens devastation of flesh-eating bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091231111725.htm>.
Methodist Hospital, Houston. (2010, January 3). Mutant gene lessens devastation of flesh-eating bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091231111725.htm
Methodist Hospital, Houston. "Mutant gene lessens devastation of flesh-eating bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091231111725.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
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