Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Superbug's 'CPU' revealed: Researchers discover chemical clue directing Staphylococcus aureus

Date:
June 4, 2010
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Researchers have revealed that a small chemical, made by the superbug Staphylococcus aureus and its drug-resistant forms, determines this disease's strength and ability to infect.

Under a very high magnification of 50,000x, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) shows a strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
Credit: CDC/Janice Haney Carr

McMaster University researchers have discovered a central controller or processing unit (CPU) of a superbug's weaponry.

The team from the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research has revealed that a small chemical, made by the superbug Staphylococcus aureus and its drug-resistant forms, determines this disease's strength and ability to infect.

The bacteria is the cause for a wide range of difficult-to-treat human infectious diseases such as pneumonia, toxic-shock syndrome and flesh-eating diseases. It has become known as the superbug as it has become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and especially troublesome in hospitals.

The discovery will provide new options for fight back and disable the virulent bacteria.

"We've found that when these small chemicals in the bacteria are shut down, the bacteria is rendered non-functional and non-infectious," said Nathan Magarvey, principal investigator for the study and an assistant professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster. "We're now set on hacking into this pathogen and making its system crash."

To identify these "pathogen small molecule CPUs," the researchers used cutting-edge chemical mining tools to reveal the molecular wiring associated with their formation. Then, to uncover its function, the McMaster scientists shut off its synthesis, showing that the deadly pathogens had been tamed and unable to burst open red blood cells.

The McMaster team also collaborated with the University of Western Ontario and the University of Nebraska to further delve into how this "small molecule CPU" works and functions to engage Staphylococcus aureus in its destructive and harmful behaviors.

An article on the breakthrough appears in the journal Science.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Morgan A. Wyatt, Wenliang Wang, Christelle M. Roux, Federico C. Beasley, David E. Heinrichs, Paul M. Dunman, and Nathan A. Magarvey. Staphylococcus aureus Nonribosomal Peptide Secondary Metabolites Regulate Virulence. Science, 2010; DOI: 10.1126/science.1188888

Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "Superbug's 'CPU' revealed: Researchers discover chemical clue directing Staphylococcus aureus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603172223.htm>.
McMaster University. (2010, June 4). Superbug's 'CPU' revealed: Researchers discover chemical clue directing Staphylococcus aureus. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603172223.htm
McMaster University. "Superbug's 'CPU' revealed: Researchers discover chemical clue directing Staphylococcus aureus." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603172223.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
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

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