Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Disarming disease-causing bacteria

Date:
April 5, 2012
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
Scientists could produce new antibacterial treatments by disarming the molecular pumps bacteria use to bring disease-causing molecules in contact with animals and humans.

New treatments that combat the growing problem of antibiotic resistance by disarming rather than killing bacteria may be on the horizon, according to a new study.

Related Articles


Published in Nature Structure and Molecular Biology, research led by Monash Universityshowed a protein complex called the Translocation and Assembly Module (TAM), formed a type of molecular pump in bacteria. The TAM allows bacteria to shuttle key disease-causing molecules from inside the bacterial cell where they are made, to the outside surface, priming the bacteria for infection.

Lead author and PhD student Joel Selkrig of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash said the work paves the way for future studies to design new drugs that inhibit this process.

"The TAM was discovered in many disease-causing bacteria, from micro-organisms that cause whooping cough and meningitis, to hospital-acquired bacteria that are developing resistance to current antibiotics," Mr Selkrig said.

"It is a good antibacterial target because a drug designed to inhibit TAM function would unlikely kill bacteria, but simply deprive them of their molecular weaponry, and in doing so, disable the disease process."

"By allowing bacteria to stay alive after antibiotic treatment, we believe we can also prevent the emergence of antibiotic resistance, which is fast becoming a major problem worldwide."

The Monash team, led by Professor Trevor Lithgow from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, showed the TAM was made of two protein parts, TamA and TamB, which function together to form a machine of molecular scale.

Together with colleagues at the University of Melbourne, they compared normal virulent bacteria to mutant strains of bacteria engineered to have no TAM.

"We noticed that proteins important for disease were missing in the outer membrane of the mutant bacteria," Mr Selkrig said.

"The absent proteins help bacteria to adhere to our bodies and perform disease-related functions."

Mr Selkrig said the next step for the group was to dissect the molecular mechanism of how the TAM complex functions and, in collaboration with researchers at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, design an antibiotic that inhibits the TAM in bacteria.

Professor Lithgow led an international team of seven Monash researchers, and scientists from the University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, the University of Glasgow and University of Birmingham.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Joel Selkrig, Khedidja Mosbahi, Chaille T Webb, Matthew J Belousoff, Andrew J Perry, Timothy J Wells, Faye Morris, Denisse L Leyton, Makrina Totsika, Minh-Duy Phan, Nermin Celik, Michelle Kelly, Clare Oates, Elizabeth L Hartland, Roy M Robins-Browne, Sri Harsha Ramarathinam, Anthony W Purcell, Mark A Schembri, Richard A Strugnell, Ian R Henderson, Daniel Walker, Trevor Lithgow. Discovery of an archetypal protein transport system in bacterial outer membranes. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.2261

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Disarming disease-causing bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405092923.htm>.
Monash University. (2012, April 5). Disarming disease-causing bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405092923.htm
Monash University. "Disarming disease-causing bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120405092923.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. 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