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Research on pigment production reveals Achilles' heel for MRSA

Date:
November 3, 2016
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
A molecular explanation has been discovered for how the bacterium behind the super bug MRSA produces a red pigment that is crucial for its rapid growth.
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Haem is a red pigment required by MRSA for rapid growth.
Credit: Dr Mark Shepherd, University of Kent

Research co-led by bioscientists at the University of Kent provides a molecular explanation for how the bacterium behind the super bug MRSA produces a red pigment that is crucial for its rapid growth.

In a paper published in Biochemical Journal, Kent's Dr Mark Shepherd and PhD student Charlie Hobbs, working with researchers at the University of Georgia, USA, provide new insights into the HemQ enzyme of haem synthesis, which is unique to bacteria causing infections including MRSA, tuberculosis and acne.

Since certain infectious bacteria produce haem in a different way to humans, drugs designed to target this process are less likely to be toxic to human cells. In future, targeting this pathway with new drugs will provide alternative strategies to combat bacteria that are resistant to conventional antibiotics.


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Kent. Original written by Sandy Fleming. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Hobbs, H. A. Dailey, M. Shepherd. The HemQ coprohaem decarboxylase generates reactive oxygen species: implications for the evolution of classical haem biosynthesis. Biochemical Journal, 2016; 473 (21): 3997 DOI: 10.1042/BCJ20160696

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Research on pigment production reveals Achilles' heel for MRSA." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161103124042.htm>.
University of Kent. (2016, November 3). Research on pigment production reveals Achilles' heel for MRSA. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161103124042.htm
University of Kent. "Research on pigment production reveals Achilles' heel for MRSA." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161103124042.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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