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

Scientists Uncover Bacterial War Tactics

Published: Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Bookmark and Share
The discovery paves the way for new drugs to fight bacterial infections.

Scientists from the UK and France have gained the first structural insights into the warfare that takes place when bacteria are starved of nutrients. Bacteria produce antimicrobial lasso peptides, which have a unique knotted structure; when they come face-to-face with receptors at the outer membranes of cells of other bacteria that cause human infections, such as E. coli or Salmonella, these peptides can hijack the receptor and kill the target bacteria.  

To uncover the bacterial war tactics, scientists used structural data collected on the crystallography beamlines at Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron science facility, combined with modelling and biochemical experiments. The team brought together scientists from Imperial College London, the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris and the University of Oxford, and their results have just been published in Nature Chemical Biology.

Battle lines are drawn when the E. coli bacteria are starved of iron and seek it out via iron receptors on their outer membrane.  These receptors are important and help bacteria to track down iron, but covert operations come into force as the lasso peptides hijack these receptors for their own purposes and kill the bacteria in the process. Ironically, such clashes between bacteria could actually prove very useful to humans in our fight against bacterial infections.  

Konstantinos Beis, from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London, comments, “Successfully treating infectious diseases is currently a huge challenge as bacteria are so good at shrugging off existing antibiotics by developing resistance to them. The structural studies we carried out at Diamond are very exciting as we have identified a key residue in this particular peptide that is important for the recognition of the E. coli receptor and this detailed knowledge, coupled with the fact it has a very stable lasso structure, leads us to believe the peptide could act as a platform for new drugs against bacterial infection.”

There is growing interest in new approaches to tackling bacterial infections as traditional antibiotics made from purely synthetic compounds prove themselves to be not up to the job in the long term. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control estimates that 25,000 patients die each year from infections caused by anti microbial resistant bacteria.

Sylvie Rebuffat, from the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle-CNRS in Paris, adds “My team has been working on this particular peptide for over a decade now and, while these are early stage results, they provide the structural information that we have been waiting for to enable us to establish it as a front runner to aid in the design of new medicine to fight bacterial infections.”

The research was funded by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.







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 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,900+ 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

Do Germs Cause Type 1 Diabetes?
Germs could play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes by triggering the body’s immune system to destroy the cells that produce insulin, new research suggests.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Pioneering Brain Cancer Technique Could Lead to Better Prognosis for Patients
4,000th paper published from Diamond research could improve outcomes for brain cancer sufferers.
Friday, December 18, 2015
Solved Structure of S. pneumoniae Enzyme Could Lead to New Antibiotics
Scientists solve structure of a key bacterial enzyme from streptococcus pneumoniae: a major cause of bacterial meningitis, bronchitis, ear infection and pneumonia.
Thursday, December 03, 2015
New UK Facility to Accelerate Drug Discovery
Diamond’s on-site fragment screening facility a major boost for structural biologists.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Key Cellular Mechanism Involved in Neurodegeneration and Herpes Uncovered
The discovery of a protein complex at the heart of cellular transport networks could have broad implications for disease research.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Lighting Up A New Path For Novel Synthetic Polio Vaccine
Crystal structures and electron microscopy images are being used to develop a vaccine to target the polio virus.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Diamond Celebrates a Glittering Year of Crystallography
From film premieres to major scientific breakthroughs, Diamond Light Source helped make the International Year of Crystallography a memorable event.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Scientists Gain First Glimpse of One of Nature’s Measuring ‘Rulers’
New findings offer potential to outsmart bacterial infections.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Scientists Discover Bacteria’s Clever Defence Mechanism
Structure of EzrA protein could help identify new antibiotic targets.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Investment in New Capability for Materials Analysis
Johnson Matthey, Oxford University, Diamond Light Source announce the creation a state-of-the-art materials characterisation facility at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Novel Crystallography Beamline Takes Delivery of in Vacuum X-Ray Detector
The Diamond Light Source beamline will facilitate challenging research on DNA, RNA, native proteins and other building blocks of life.
Friday, April 04, 2014
‘Big Science’ uncovers another piece in the Alzheimer’s puzzle
Evidence found of the possible cause of brain-cell-damaging toxic iron.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Year of Glittering Celebrations begins at Diamond Light Source
Activity to showcase 100 years of crystallography.
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Funding Announced for New Biological Facilities at Diamond Light Source
Landmark silver doughnut-shaped building on the Harwell Campus has been granted £15.6 million for a new imaging centre for biology.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Ancient Climate from Plankton Shells
Climate changes from millions of years ago are recorded at daily rate in ancient sea shells, new research shows.
Monday, November 04, 2013
Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
JPK NanoWizard® Applied to a Wide Range of Research
The NanoWizard® AFM from JPK is applied for interdisciplinary research at the University of South Australia for applications including smart wound healing and how plants can protect themselves from toxins.
Mutations in DNA-Repair Genes Found in Advanced Prostate Cancers
New findings indicate that nearly 12% of male advanced prostate cancer sufferers have inherited mutation in DNA-repair genes.
Protein Boosts Rice Yield by 54%
Over-expression of a natural protein in rice plants led to a 54% increase in crop yield and 40% increase in nitrogen-use efficiency.
Ice Bucket Challenge Instrumental in Gene Discovery
Donations from the ALS Ice Bucket Chellenge allowed for the largest-ever study of inherited ALS, which identified a new ALS gene.
Genetic Variability in Cell Bank Lots
Researchers working with cancer cells from the same cell bank acquired at the same time, found that the cells were genetically different.
Triple-Action Therapy Patch Shows Promise
Patch that delivers drug, gene, and light-based therapy to tumor sites shows promising results in mice.
Soil Nitrogen Age Important for Precision Agriculture
Calculating the age of nitrogen in corn and soybean fields could lead to improved fertilizer application techniques.
Targeting Autoimmunity
Researchers have developed a strategy to treat a rare autoimmune disease which could lead to treatments of other autoimmune diseases.
Molecule May Affect Gaucher, Parkinson's Disease
Research has identified a molecule that restores activity of a dysfunctional enzyme linked to Gaucher and Parkinson's disease.
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
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!