Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Decoding the molecular machine behind E. coli and cholera

Date:
February 9, 2012
Source:
Queen Mary, University of London
Summary:
Scientists have discovered the workings behind some of the bacteria that kill hundreds of thousands every year, possibly paving the way for new antibiotics that could treat infections more effectively.

Scientists from Queen Mary, University of London have discovered the workings behind some of the bacteria that kill hundreds of thousands every year, possibly paving the way for new antibiotics that could treat infections more effectively.

Related Articles


With antibiotic resistance on the rise in strains of pathogenic bacteria, innovative strategies are needed to discover ways of treating bacterial infections in both humans and in agriculture.

Writing in the journal PLoS Pathogens, the team from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences show how they studied the molecular machine known as the 'type II bacterial secretion system', which is responsible for delivering potent toxins from bacteria such as enterotoxigenic E. coli and Vibrio cholerae into an infected individual.

Professor Richard Pickersgill, who led the research, said: "Bacterial secretion systems deliver disease causing toxins into host tissue. If we can understand how these machines work, then we can work out how it they might be stopped."

In order to infect, Gram negative bacteria have to export their toxins into their host across both an inner and outer membrane. Professor Pickersgill explains: "The pore in the outer membrane which the toxins pass through is formed from protein subunits which are guided into place by a protein pilot. The protein pilot interacts with the subunits that form the pore in the outer membrane; if the protein pilot is missing, then the pore forms in the inner membrane and not the outer membrane and secretion is stopped."

Professor Pickersgill adds: "If we can successfully interfere with this or with other interactions we are discovering then we might be able to halt the secretion system and prevent these harmful diseases."

The same type II secretion system that enables E.coli and cholera is also used by bacteria that cause substantial food spoilage, such as Dickeya dadantii. Crop spoilage by plant infecting bacteria is becoming an increasing problem in the UK due to the warmer and wetter summers caused by global climate change, and the team hope that the results of this study will be of interest to both agrichemical scientists seeking ways of preventing crop damage and pharmaceutical companies seeking new antibiotics.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Shuang Gu, Saima Rehman, Xiaohui Wang, Vladimir E. Shevchik, Richard W. Pickersgill. Structural and Functional Insights into the Pilotin-Secretin Complex of the Type II Secretion System. PLoS Pathogens, 2012; 8 (2): e1002531 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002531

Cite This Page:

Queen Mary, University of London. "Decoding the molecular machine behind E. coli and cholera." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209172816.htm>.
Queen Mary, University of London. (2012, February 9). Decoding the molecular machine behind E. coli and cholera. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209172816.htm
Queen Mary, University of London. "Decoding the molecular machine behind E. coli and cholera." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209172816.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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