Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Dawning of a new age' in bacteria research

Date:
July 12, 2010
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Lowly bacteria are turning out to be much more complex than previously thought. Researchers describe an example of bacterial complexity, called "protein acetylation," which once was thought to be rare in bacteria.

Lowly bacteria are turning out to be much more complex than previously thought.

In the July 2010 issue of the journal Molecular Microbiology, Loyola University Health System researchers describe an example of bacterial complexity, called "protein acetylation," which once was thought to be rare in bacteria.

This discovery that protein acetylation is common in bacteria has led to the "dawning of a new age" in bacterial research, senior author Alan Wolfe, PhD. and colleagues wrote.

Protein acetylation is a molecular reaction inside the cell. It modifies and thus affects the function of proteins, including the molecular machinery responsible for turning genes on or off.

Bacteria make up one of the three domains of life. The other two domains are archaea (single-cell organisms distinct from bacteria) and eukaryotes (which include plants and animals). Bacteria evolved before eukaryotes, but they are not as primitive as once thought.

"Bacteria have long been considered simple relatives of eukaryotes," Wolfe and colleagues wrote. "Obviously, this misperception must be modified."

For example, protein acetylation historically had been considered mostly a eukaryotic phenomenon. But recent research indicates that acetylation also has a broad impact on bacterial physiology.

"There is a whole process going on that we have been blind to," Wolfe said.

Wolfe's laboratory works with intestinal bacteria called Escherichia coli, commonly called E. coli. While some strains of E. coli can cause serious food poisoning, most strains are harmless or even beneficial.

E. coli and its 4,000 genes have been extensively studied for decades. Consequently, researchers now have the ability to quickly determine what happens when a gene is deleted or made more active. "We're explorers with lots of tools," Wolfe said.

Studying protein acetylation will improve scientists' basic understanding of how bacterial cells work. This in turn could lead to new drugs to, for example, kill or cripple harmful bacteria.

"We're in the very early days of this research," Wolfe said. "We're riding the front of the wave, and that's exhilarating. The graduate students in my lab are working practically around the clock, because they know how important this is."

Wolfe is a microbial geneticist and professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. His co-authors are graduate students Linda Hu and Bruno Lima.

Wolfe's lab is supported by the Stritch School of Medicine Research Funding Committee and by a four-year $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Hu Linda I., Lima Bruno P., Wolfe Alan J. Bacterial protein acetylation: the dawning of a new age. Molecular Microbiology, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07204.x

Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "'Dawning of a new age' in bacteria research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712102804.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2010, July 12). 'Dawning of a new age' in bacteria research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712102804.htm
Loyola University Health System. "'Dawning of a new age' in bacteria research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100712102804.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
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