Wednesday 4 November 2015

How Gram-negative bacteria deliver toxins to kill neighboring bacteria

Certain microbes exploit proteins in nearby bacteria to deliver toxins and kill them. The mechanisms behind this “bacterial warfare” could be harnessed to target pathogenic bacteria.

Researchers have detailed how Gram-negative bacteria use contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) systems to infiltrate and deliver protein toxins into neighboring cells. By studying the bacterium Escherichia coli, scientists were able to document how CDI "translocation domains" can use multiple pathways to transfer those toxins into a cell. By understanding that mechanism it could be possible to use it as a model for pinpoint targeting of bacteria.

For further details, see:

Julia L. E. Willett, Grant C. Gucinski, Jackson P. Fatherree, David A. Low, Christopher S. Hayes. Contact-dependent growth inhibition toxins exploit multiple independent cell-entry pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015; 201512124 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1512124112

Posted by Tim Sandle

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