Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bacteria interrupted: Disabling coordinated behavior and virulence gene expression

Date:
April 22, 2011
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
New research reveals a strategy for disrupting the ability of bacteria to communicate and coordinate the expression of virulence factors. The study may lead to the development of new antibacterial therapeutics.

New research reveals a strategy for disrupting the ability of bacteria to communicate and coordinate the expression of virulence factors. The study, published in the April 22nd issue of the journal Molecular Cell, may lead to the development of new antibacterial therapeutics.

Related Articles


Bacteria use a process called "quorum sensing" to synchronize group behaviors that promote pathogenesis. During the process of quorum sensing, bacteria communicate with one another via chemical signals called autoinducers. As the population increases, so do autoinducer concentrations. Interactions between autoinducers and their receptors control gene expression and underlie coordinated behavior within cell populations.

"Quorum sensing controls virulence factor expression in many clinically relevant pathogens, so quorum sensing antagonists that prevent virulence gene activation offer a potential route to novel antibacterial therapeutics," explains senior study author, Dr. Frederick M. Hughson, from Princeton University. "A handful of quorum sensing antagonists have in fact been discovered, but how they work has remained mysterious." Dr. Hughson's Princeton colleague and co-author of this report, Dr. Bonnie L. Bassler, had previously demonstrated that antagonizing quorum sensing could provide protection from quorum-sensing-mediated killing by the pathogenic bacteria Chromobacterium violaceum. However, before the full therapeutic potential of this approach can be realized, it is necessary to gain a better understanding of exactly how the antagonists disrupt quorum sensing.

Many pathogenic bacteria, including Chromobacterium violaceum, use LuxR family DNA-binding proteins as quorum sensing receptors. In the absence of an autoinducer, LuxR proteins are unstable. However, when an autoinducer binds to LuxR it forms a stable complex that activates virulence genes. Using a battery of methods ranging from genetics to x-ray crystallography, the researchers discovered that the LuxR type protein CviR was potently antagonized by compounds that bound in place of the endogenous autoinducer. The antagonists, unlike the autoinducer, caused CviR to adopt an inactive "closed" conformation that was incapable of binding DNA.

The findings provide insight into the mechanisms that underlie successful antagonism of quorum sensing and may direct development of new antibacterial therapeutics aimed at interfering with bacterial communication. "We demonstrated one successful strategy for inactivating quorum sensing receptors using small drug-like molecules. Small molecules that function analogously to the antagonists we studied could be broadly useful for inhibiting other LuxR-type receptors," concludes Dr. Hughson. "Indeed, this strategy should be readily generalizable to other multi-domain proteins but has not, to our knowledge, previously been demonstrated."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Guozhou Chen, Lee R. Swem, Danielle L. Swem, Devin L. Stauff, Colleen T. O'Loughlin, Philip D. Jeffrey, Bonnie L. Bassler, Frederick M. Hughson. A Strategy for Antagonizing Quorum Sensing. Molecular Cell, Volume 42, Issue 2, 199-209, 22 April 2011 DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2011.04.003

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Bacteria interrupted: Disabling coordinated behavior and virulence gene expression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421122329.htm>.
Cell Press. (2011, April 22). Bacteria interrupted: Disabling coordinated behavior and virulence gene expression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421122329.htm
Cell Press. "Bacteria interrupted: Disabling coordinated behavior and virulence gene expression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421122329.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. 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