We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Secret Behind Protective Bacterial Shield Revealed

Secret Behind Protective Bacterial Shield Revealed

Secret Behind Protective Bacterial Shield Revealed

Secret Behind Protective Bacterial Shield Revealed

Credit: CDC/ Unsplash
Read time:

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "Secret Behind Protective Bacterial Shield Revealed"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Biology - Bacterial shield breakdown

An international research team discovered a mechanism that disease-causing bacteria use to anchor their protective outer membranes. Their findings could inform strategies to disrupt a microbe's cell structure, ultimately helping to combat pathogens that affect humans and plants.

Scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory used high-performance computing to create protein models that helped reveal how the outer membrane is tethered to the cell membrane in certain bacteria. These Gram-negative bacteria sandwich their cell walls between an outer and inner membrane, and the layers act as a shield that allows them to persist under harsh conditions.

ORNL's models informed further simulations and experiments by collaborators who observed these unusual linkages.

"Modeling and simulating membrane proteins help us understand complex cell structures," ORNL's Jerry Parks said. "These approaches are particularly important when relatively little is known about an organism, because it is challenging to study in the lab."

Sandoz KM, Moore RA, Beare PA, et al. β-Barrel proteins tether the outer membrane in many Gram-negative bacteria. Nat Microbiol. 2020. doi:10.1038/s41564-020-00798-4

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.