Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Extreme survival: 'Conan the Bacterium' reveals its recipe for success

Date:
September 7, 2010
Source:
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU)
Summary:
The discovery of long-sought chemical antioxidants in the world's toughest microbe is reported in a breakthrough study. First studied nearly 50 years ago, this bacterium can survive massive exposures to gamma-radiation, ultraviolet radiation, desiccation, and other agents which kill cells by generating reactive oxygen species.

Long-sought chemical antioxidants in the world's toughest microbe has now been discovered.
Credit: Image courtesy of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU)

Researchers report the discovery of long-sought chemical antioxidants in the world's toughest microbe -- Deinococcus radiodurans. First studied nearly 50 years ago, this bacterium can survive massive exposures to gamma-radiation, ultraviolet radiation, desiccation, and other agents which kill cells by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS).

The study, headed by Michael J. Daly, Ph.D., professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) Department of Pathology, appears in the September 3 edition of PLoS ONE.

Daly's team previously reported that D. radiodurans accomplishes its astonishing survival feats in an unexpected way -- by protecting its proteins from oxidation. This spares DNA repair enzymes from radiation damage and allows the cells to reassemble their broken genomes with extraordinary efficiency. The current study identifies divalent manganese-complexes in D. radiodurans cell extracts, which protect purified proteins, and Escherichia coli and human cells from extreme cellular insults caused by ionizing radiation. When bombarded by gamma-rays, D. radiodurans appears to salvage breakdown products of protein and DNA, endowing mixtures of peptides and orthophosphate with potent ROS-scavenging activities when combined with Mn(II).

When reconstituted, the Mn-complexes were immensely protective of irradiated enzymes, preserving their structure and function, but they did not protect DNA significantly. Prospectively, D. radiodurans has presented the scientific community with a novel and highly defensive chemical strategy to combat oxidative stress in diverse settings, including bioremediation of radioactive waste, preparation of irradiated vaccines, long-term protein storage, against ultraviolet rays during sunbathing, during radiotherapy and as we age.

The three-year project was a collaboration between Daly's group at USU, a team led by Dr. Rodney L. Levine, chief of the laboratory of biochemistry at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health and Drs. Juliann G. Kiang and Risaku Fukumoto at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) in Bethesda, Md. Funding was by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the intramural programs of the NHLBI and AFRRI.

The USU, located in Bethesda, Maryland, on the grounds of the National Naval Medical Center, is a traditional U.S. academic health center with a unique emphasis on educating the next generation of health care providers and researchers in military medicine, tropical diseases, humanitarian assistance, as well as responses to disasters and other public health emergencies. USU's nationally ranked military and civilian faculty conduct cutting edge research in the biomedical sciences and in areas specific to the DoD health care mission.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael J. Daly, Elena K. Gaidamakova, Vera Y. Matrosova, Juliann G. Kiang, Risaku Fukumoto, Duck-Yeon Lee, Nancy B. Wehr, Gabriela A. Viteri, Barbara S. Berlett, Rodney L. Levine, Michael Otto. Small-Molecule Antioxidant Proteome-Shields in Deinococcus radiodurans. PLoS ONE, 2010; 5 (9): e12570 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012570

Cite This Page:

Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). "Extreme survival: 'Conan the Bacterium' reveals its recipe for success." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906142136.htm>.
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). (2010, September 7). Extreme survival: 'Conan the Bacterium' reveals its recipe for success. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906142136.htm
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU). "Extreme survival: 'Conan the Bacterium' reveals its recipe for success." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906142136.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
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