Surface protein editing in bacteria

phys.org | 4/29/2019 | Staff
hi09 (Posted by) Level 3
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University of Minnesota researchers have discovered this previously unknown signaling pathway that regulates surface proteins on bacteria that can lead to new targets for antibiotics.

Researchers studied how oral bacteria adhere to and develop biofilms (plaque) in the oral cavity. The team wanted to learn whether and how the bacterial cells might adjust their adhesive surface proteins. They discovered a previously unknown circuit that is embedded in the cell membrane that can signal for changes in the surface adhesive proteins. This circuit appears to be conserved among a subset of Gram-positive bacteria. The intramembrane bacterial signaling system calls for different surface proteins to compensate in the absence of primary surface proteins. This mechanism provides compensatory biofilm (plaque) formation.

Mechanism - Communities - Vitro - Mouth - Genes

This mechanism appears to function in microbial communities in vitro and in the human mouth. Genes encoding surface adhesive proteins differ when the bacteria are recovered from saliva versus dental plaque in the same person at the same time.

When activated, this circuit rescued biofilm formation—which is when microorganisms strongly attach and grow on a surface—helping...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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