Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genotyping & Gene Expression
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Breaking up the Superbugs’ Party

Published: Friday, August 16, 2013
Last Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013
Bookmark and Share
The fight against antibiotic-resistant superbugs has taken a step forward thanks to a new discovery by scientists.

A BBSRC-funded multi-disciplinary research team at the University's Centre for Biomolecular Sciences has uncovered a new way of inhibiting the toxicity and virulence of the notorious superbug, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

These bacteria are resistant to many conventional antibiotics. It is almost impossible to eradicate P. aeruginosa from the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis and is therefore a leading cause of death among sufferers. The bug also causes a wide range of infections particularly among hospital patients.

The new discovery concerns the bacterial cells' ability to 'talk' to each other by producing and sensing small chemical signal molecules. This is called 'quorum sensing' (QS) and enables a population of individual bacteria to act socially rather than as individuals. QS allows a population of bacteria to assess their numerical strength and make a decision only when the population is 'quorate'.

The mechanism through which QS signals work is by activating gene expression upon interaction of a QS signal molecule with a receptor protein. In many disease-causing bacteria, QS controls genes which are essential for infection. These genes code for virulence factors such as toxins which cause damage to host tissues and the immune system. Interfering with the QS signalling process blocks bacterial virulence and renders bacteria unable to cause infection. Consequently QS systems are molecular targets for the development of new anti-infective drugs which do not kill bacteria but instead block their ability to cause disease.

In a study published in the journal, PLOS Pathogens, the Nottingham team has described how they solved the 3D structure of a receptor protein called PqsR used by P. aeruginosa to sense alkyl quinolone QS signal molecules so that they could visualize the shape of the QS signal molecule-binding site within the PqsR protein.

Professor of Molecular Microbiology, Paul Williams, said: "We were able to synthesize and screen a library of chemical compounds which could fit within the PqsR binding site and block receptor activation by the QS signal molecules. The active compounds were screened for their ability to inhibit QS and through a process of chemical refinement some novel potent QS inhibitors were discovered which were tested biologically on P.aeruginosa and shown to block virulence gene expression."

Professor of Macromolecular Crystallography, Jonas Emsley, added: "This ground-breaking work establishes a platform for the future evaluation and further development of these new QS inhibitor compounds as potential drugs for the treatment of P. aeruginosa infections."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

New Chromosome Map Points the Way Through Campylobacter’s Genetic Controls
The Institute of Food Research has produced a new map of the Campylobacter genome, showing the points where all of this pathogenic bacteria's genes are turned on.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Moving Genes have Scientists Seeing Spots
An international team of scientists has perfected a way of watching genes move within a living plant cell.
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Researchers Pair Experiments with Computer Models to Peer into Cells
BBSRC-funded researchers have developed a new strategy that can give scientists a better insight into how complex molecular machineries function in living cells.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Lack of Sleep Alters Human Gene Activity
New research from the University of Surrey has found that as little as one week of inadequate sleep is enough to alter the activity of hundreds of human genes.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Collisions of Protein Machines Cause DNA Replication Derailment
Scientists have published results that will forever change the way researchers view the interplay between gene expression, DNA replication and the prevention of DNA damage.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Scientific News
Gene That Lowers Heart Attack Risk Identified
Individuals with a rare twelve-letter deletion from a gene on chromosome 17 have significantly reduced non-HDL cholesterol levels and a 35% lower than average risk of heart disease.
"Sunscreen" Gene May Guard Against Melanoma
USC-led study reveals that melanoma patients with deficient or mutant copies of the gene are less protected from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells Play Role in Tumor Growth
Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have reported a new mechanism that helps cancer cells engage myeloid-derived suppressor cells.
Transcription Factor Isoforms Implicated in Colon Diseases
UC Riverside study explains how distribution of two forms of a transcription factor in the colon influence risk of disease.
Roundup Impacts Gene Expression
Study published on the impact of low-dose toxicity of Roundup weed-killer on gene expression profiles.
US-India Collab Finds Molecular Signatures of Severe Malaria
Study may be a significant advancement in understanding the causes of severe malaria.
Big Data Can Save Lives
The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Target Is Found
Researchers at UC Berkeley discover a target that drives cancer metabolism in triple-negative breast cancer.
Gene Expression Controls Revealed
Researchers have modelled every atom in a key part of the process for switching on genes, revealing a whole new area for potential drug targets.
Using Portable Nanopore DNA Sequencers to Combat Wildlife Crime
University of Leicester researchers aim to develop a test using DNA to identify species at crime scenes in as little as an hour.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!