Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Biochemical Role of Crucial TonB Protein in Bacterial Iron Transport and Pathogenesis

Published: Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A study has discovered the role of a protein in bacteria that cause a wide variety of diseases, including typhoid fever, plague, meningitis and dysentery.

The results may lead to new and improved antibiotics for humans and animals.

Phillip E. Klebba, professor and head of the department of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, made the findings with two colleagues in the department: Lorne D. Jordan, doctoral candidate, Manhattan, and Salete M. Newton, research professor. The collaboration included other biophysicists at the University of Oklahoma and Purdue University. Their study, "Energy-dependent motion of TonB in the Gram-negative bacterial inner membrane," appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, or PNAS.

The research focuses on the central role of iron in biochemistry. Both animals and bacteria require iron for biological processes like energy generation and DNA, Klebba said. The iron acquisition systems of bacteria, however, contribute to infectious diseases.

"Iron is the object of a microbiological war in the human body," Klebba said. "Host proteins defend cells and tissues by sequestering the metal, and successful pathogens overcome this barrier and capture the iron. But the iron transport mechanisms of pathogenic organisms are not well understood."

The membrane protein TonB plays an indispensable role in the uptake of iron by Gram-negative bacteria -- a classification of bacteria that is more resistant to antibiotics because of a nearly impenetrable cell wall. Gram-negative bacteria can cause diseases such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Yersinia pestis, Vibrio cholera, Brucella abortus, Neisseria meningitidis cause many diseases and clinical conditions; they all transport iron by the same mechanism that depends on the actions of TonB.

Despite decades of research, the biochemical role of TonB in Gram-negative bacteria was a scientific mystery, Klebba said. He and his colleagues found that the cellular electrochemical forces put TonB in a spinning motion that provides the energy and physical mechanism to enable iron uptake into the cell.

"In this sense TonB acts like an electric motor that constantly rotates in response to the cellular energy flow," Klebba said. "TonB is one of nature's smallest and oldest electrical devices."


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 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,200+ 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

Biochemist Studies Oilseed Plants for Biofuel
A Kansas State University biochemistry professor has reached a milestone in building a better biofuel: producing high levels of lipids with modified properties in oil seeds.
Monday, August 17, 2015
NSF Awards KSU $1.6M for Wheat Genome Research
Kansas State University wheat researchers are leading efforts to develop a better understanding of the wheat genome.
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Genomics Can Match Plant Variety to Climate Stresses
A new study on the genomic signatures of adaptation in crop plants can help predict how crop varieties respond to stress from their environments.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Vaccines Developed for H5N1, H7N9 Avian Influenza Strains
Vaccines have been developed for H5N1 and H7N9, two emerging strains of avian influenza. The strains are zoonotic and can be transmitted from chickens to pigs and humans.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Spring Heat More Damaging to Wheat than Fall Freeze
Scientists need to develop new heat-resistant wheat varieties.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Detailed Genetic Map of World Wheat Varieties Developed
Kansas State University researchers are releasing a study that details the first haplotype map of wheat.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Resistance Gene Found Against Ug99 Wheat Stem Rust Pathogen
The world's food supply got a little more plentiful thanks to a scientific breakthrough.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Controlling Plant Parasitic Nematodes
A recently patented invention from a Kansas State University research team aims to control a devastating parasite that causes millions of dollars in crop damage each year.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Study Finds Media May be Overhyping Benefits of Organic Food, Agriculture
News accounts of organic agriculture and organic food are more likely to be positive than negative and inaccurately claim organic food is safer
Monday, July 26, 2010
Scientific News
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy
Institute has identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibratory urticaria.
Battery Component Found to Harm Key Soil Microorganism
The material at the heart of the lithium ion batteries that power electric vehicles, laptop computers and smartphones has been shown to impair a key soil bacterium, according to new research.
Keeping Tumor Growth at Bay
Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis found a way to keep a cancerous tumor from growing by using nanoparticles of the main ingredient in common antacid tablets.
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Mitochondria Shown to Trigger Cell Ageing
An international team of scientists has for the first time shown that mitochondria, the batteries of the cells, are essential for ageing.
Cancer Cells Kill Off Healthy Neighbours
Cancer cells create space to grow by killing off surrounding healthy cells, according to UK researchers working with fruit flies.
Validating the Accuracy of CRISPR-Cas9
IBS Researchers create multiplex Digenome-seq to find errors in CRISPR-Cas9 processes.
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Genetic Mechanism Behind Cancer-Causing Mutations
Researchers at Indiana University has identified a genetic mechanism that is likely to drive mutations that can lead to cancer.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!