Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein study gives fresh impetus in fight against superbugs

Date:
January 31, 2012
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Scientists have shed new light on the way superbugs such as MRSA are able to become resistant to treatment with antibiotics.

Scientists have shed light on the way superbugs such as MRSA are able to become resistant to antibiotics. Researchers have mapped the complex molecular structure of an enzyme found in many bacteria.

Related Articles


These molecules -- known as restriction enzymes -- control the speed at which bacteria can acquire resistance to drugs and eventually become superbugs.

Infectious bacteria

The study, carried out by an international team including scientists from the University of Edinburgh, focused on E. coli.

However, the results would apply to many other infectious bacteria.

After prolonged treatment with antibiotics, bacteria may evolve to become resistant to many drugs, as is the case with superbugs such as MRSA.

Enzyme activity

Bacteria become resistant by absorbing DNA -- usually from other bugs or viruses -- which contains genetic information enabling the bacteria to block the action of drugs.

Restriction enzymes can slow or halt this absorption process.

Enzymes that work in this way are believed to have evolved as a defense mechanism for bacteria.

DNA reaction

The researchers also studied the enzyme in action by reacting it with DNA from another organism.

They were able to model the mechanism by which the enzyme disables foreign DNA, while safeguarding the bacteria's own genetic material.

Restriction enzymes' ability to sever genetic material is widely applied by scientists to cut and paste strands of DNA in genetic engineering.

The study was carried out in collaboration with the Universities of Leeds and Portsmouth with partners in Poland and France.

It was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Wellcome Trust and published in Genes and Development journal.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. C. K. Kennaway, J. E. Taylor, C. F. Song, W. Potrzebowski, W. Nicholson, J. H. White, A. Swiderska, A. Obarska-Kosinska, P. Callow, L. P. Cooper, G. A. Roberts, J.-B. Artero, J. M. Bujnicki, J. Trinick, G. G. Kneale, D. T. F. Dryden. Structure and operation of the DNA-translocating type I DNA restriction enzymes. Genes & Development, 2012; 26 (1): 92 DOI: 10.1101/gad.179085.111

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Protein study gives fresh impetus in fight against superbugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120131102521.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2012, January 31). Protein study gives fresh impetus in fight against superbugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120131102521.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Protein study gives fresh impetus in fight against superbugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120131102521.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. 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