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

Salmonella Relies on Single Food Source to Stay Potent

Published: Saturday, July 12, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Study suggests genes needed for nutrient could be attractive drug target to fight infection.

Scientists have identified a potential Achilles’ heel for Salmonella – the bacteria’s reliance on a single food source to remain fit in the inflamed intestine.

When these wily bugs can’t access this nutrient, they become 1,000 times less effective at sustaining disease than when they’re fully nourished.

The research suggests that blocking activation of one of five genes that transport the nutrient toSalmonella cells could be a new strategy to fight infection.

“For some reason, Salmonella really wants this nutrient, and if it can’t get this one, it’s in really bad shape,” said Brian Ahmer, associate professor of microbial infection and immunity at The Ohio State University and lead author of the study. “If you could block Salmonella from getting that nutrient, you’d really stopSalmonella.”

The research is published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

Generally, most of the 42,000 Americans who report Salmonella infection annually ride out the gastroenteritis symptoms of diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps and vomiting for four to seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotics aren’t a recommended treatment for most infections because they kill good gut bacteria along with Salmonella.

The nutrient needed by Salmonella is composed of a sugar and amino acid stuck together, and is called fructose-asparagine. Its identification alone is also unusual: “It has never been discovered to be a nutrient for any organism,” Ahmer said.

Ahmer and colleagues found this important food source by first identifying the genes that Salmonellarequires to stay alive during the active phase of gastroenteritis, when the inflamed gut produces symptoms of infection.

Using a genetic screening technique, the researchers found a cluster of five genes that had to be expressed to keep Salmonella from losing its fitness during gastroenteritis. They then determined that those vital genes work together to transport a nutrient into the bacterial cell and chop up the nutrient so it can be used as food.

The study refers to the pathogen’s fitness because it’s an all-encompassing word for Salmonellasurvival, growth and ability to inflict damage.

Identifying the nutrient that the genes acted upon was a bit tricky and involved some guessing, Ahmer said. The team realized that the Salmonella genes they found resembled genes in other bacteria with a similar function – transporting the nutrient fructose-lysine into E. coli. But seeing a difference between the genes, the researchers landed, with some luck, on fructose-asparagine.

The researchers ran numerous experiments in cell cultures and mice to observe what happened to Salmonella in the inflamed gut when these genes were mutated. Under differing conditions,Salmonella’s fitness dropped between 100- and 10,000-fold if it could not access fructose-asparagine, even if all of its other food sources were available.

“That was one of the big surprises: that there is only one nutrient source that is so important toSalmonella. For most bacteria, if we get rid of one nutrient acquisition system, they continue to grow on other nutrients,” Ahmer said. “In the gut, Salmonella can obtain hundreds of different nutrients. But without fructose-asparagine, it’s really unfit.”

Because of that sole source for survival, the genes needed for acquisition of this nutrient could be effective drug targets.

“Nobody’s ever looked at nutrient transporters as drug targets because it’s assumed that there will be hundreds more transporters, so it’s a pointless pursuit,” Ahmer said.

This kind of drug also holds promise because it would affect only Salmonella and leave the trillions of other microbes in the gut unaffected.

Ahmer and colleagues are continuing this work to address remaining questions, including the window of time in which access to the nutrient is most important for Salmonella’s survival as well as identifying human foods that contain high concentrations of fructose-asparagine.

This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.


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

Most Complete Human Brain Model to Date is a ‘Brain Changer’
Once licensed, model likely to accelerate study of Alzheimer’s, autism, more.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Bacteria Use Toxins to Turn Our Own Bodies Against Us
Toxins turn healthy proteins into poison to interrupt immune response.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Two Genetic Mutations That Interact To Lower Heart Attack Risk Identified
About 20 percent of the population has this protective genetic combination.
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Long Noncoding RNAs: A Novel Prognostic Marker in Older Patients with Acute Leukemia
This study describes a new marker that might help doctors choose the least toxic, most effective treatment for older patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Faster, Simpler Diagnosis for Fibromyalgia May be on the Horizon
Pilot study intended to lead to test for use by primary care physicians.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Researchers take Virus-Tracking Software Worldwide
Project allows new forms of client software to join genetic surveillance.
Monday, August 06, 2012
Like a Transformer? Protein Unfolds and Refolds for New Function
New research has shown that a protein does something that scientists once thought impossible: It unfolds itself and refolds into a completely new shape.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Biophysicist Targeting IL-6 to Halt Breast, Prostate Cancer
OSU’s Li disrupts cellular messages through fragment-based drug design.
Friday, April 29, 2011
Study Analyzes Role of PARP Enzyme in Eukaryotes
OSU’s Lamb leverages supercomputer to study protein’s evolution.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Researchers use Cell “Profiling” to Detect Abnormalities -- Including Cancer
An Ohio State University mathematician and his colleagues are finding ways to tell the difference between healthy cells and abnormal cells, such as cancer cells, based on the way the cells look and move.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Lorus Announces Presentation of Supportive Data for LOR-2040 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Study investigators reported findings on the drug effects of LOR-2040 in combination with the chemotherapy drug Ara-C in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Evolutionary History of SARS Supports Bats as Virus Source
Scientists studying genome of the virus that caused SARS say their comparisons offer new evidence that the virus infecting humans originated in bats.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Two Genes Found to Play Crucial Role in Cell Survival
New research suggests that two recently discovered genes are critically important for controlling cell survival during embryonic development.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Novel Method Enables Genomic Screening of Blood Vessels from Patient Tissue
Scientists have developed a new method of capturing a complete genome-wide screening of blood vessel cells in their actual disease state.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Findings Show how a Specific microRNA Helps Cancer Develop
Research shows how a particular small molecule blocks the activity of a cancer-suppressing gene, allowing liver-cancer cells to grow and spread.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Scientific News
Food Triggers Creation of Regulatory T Cells
IBS researchers document how normal diet establishes immune tolerance conditions in the small intestine.
Light Signals from Living Cells
Fluorescent protein markers delivered under high pressure.
Counting Cancer-busting Oxygen Molecules
Researchers from the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), an Australian Research Centre of Excellence, have shown that nanoparticles used in combination with X-rays, are a viable method for killing cancer cells deep within the living body.
Therapeutic Approach Gives Hope for Multiple Myeloma
A new therapeutic approach tested by a team from Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital (CIUSSS-EST, Montreal) and the University of Montreal gives promising results for the treatment of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow currently considered incurable with conventional chemotherapy and for which the average life expectancy is about 6 or 7 years.
Cellular 'Relief Valve'
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has solved a long-standing mystery in cell biology by showing essentially how a key “relief-valve” in cells does its job.
Genomic Signature Shared by Five Types of Cancer
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a striking signature in tumor DNA that occurs in five different types of cancer.
Protein Protects Against Flu in Mice
The engineered molecule doesn’t provoke inflammation and may hail a new class of antivirals.
Cat Stem Cell Therapy Gives Humans Hope
By the time Bob the cat came to the UC Davis veterinary hospital, he had used up most of his nine lives.
Crowdfunding the Fight Against Cancer
From budding social causes to groundbreaking businesses to the next big band, crowdfunding has helped connect countless worthy projects with like-minded people willing to support their efforts, even in small ways. But could crowdfunding help fight cancer?
Switch Lets Salmonella Fight, Evade Immune System
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered a molecular regulator that allows salmonella bacteria to switch from actively causing disease to lurking in a chronic but asymptomatic state called a biofilm.
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!