Venom kills bacteria in unprecedented ways and may redirect development of new antibiotics




Pseudomonas aeruginosa, better known as pneumonia, secretes a toxin that has evolved to kill other species of bacteria.

This finding breaks the precedent established for toxins targeting proteins secreted by other bacteria. Photo: Shutterstock.

In a new study, researchers from McMaster University (Canada) made a discovery toxin So far unknown that has the ability to kill bacteria And this could pave the way for a new generation of antibiotics.

“This research is important because it shows that toxin Targets RNA molecules other than essential bacterialeaving them without effect. as people, bacteria They need an RNA that works correctly in order to live”, says John Whitney, who confirms it Pseudomonas aeruginosaknown pneumoniaedifferent a toxin which have evolved to kill other species bacteriaBut this discovery is not the only one toxin kill bacteriaBut how can he do it?

“It’s the total attack on the cell because of the number of essential pathways dependent on the functional RNA, it toxin enters its target, hijacks an essential molecule necessary for life, and then uses that molecule to disrupt normal processes,” says first author Nathan Bullen.

Whitney and Bullen studied this in collaboration with colleagues from Imperial College London (UK) and the University of Manitoba (Canada). toxin It took almost three years to understand how it worked at the molecular level, but it finally succeeded after rigorous experiments with common targets of toxins such as protein molecules and DNA before it was finally tested. toxin against RNA

This discovery breaks the precedent established for toxins targeting proteins secreted by others bacteriasuch as those that cause cholera and diphtheria.

Researchers say this breakthrough holds great potential for future research that could lead to new innovations to counter bacteria Similarly to infections, Whitney confirmed that “the newly discovered vulnerability could be used to develop future antibiotics”.

Toxin infallible ART/ RhsP2

ADP-ribosyltransferases (ARTs) were among the first bacterial virulence factors to be identified.

Canonical ART toxins are delivered to host cells where they modify essential proteins, thereby disabling cellular processes and promoting pathogenesis, but this is only when ART are understood as protein-targeted toxins. Inactivation involving antibiotics and repair of DNA damage.

Discovery of RhsP2 a. In the form of toxin ART administered between bacteria Competitors for a type VI secretion system Pseudomonas aeruginosasuggesting that it is similar to protein-targeted ART, which toxin Diphtheria.

Strikingly, however, RhsP2 ADP-ribosylates the 2′-hydroxyl groups of double-stranded RNA to the tRNA pool and is highly specific with identified cellular targets, including the RNA-processing ribozyme, ribonuclease P.

Consequently, cell death results from inhibition of translation and disruption of tRNA processing. Demonstration of a previously unknown mechanism of bacterial antagonism and unprecedented activity for enzyme-catalyzed ART.

Source consulted here.



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