Discoveries about the origin of bacterial infections
Europe - Thirty-nine proteins that bind to bacterial toxins have been uncovered by researchers from several institutions within the European project "Interaction proteome".

Touching a doorknob may be sufficient to many bacteria to pass through the walls of the body and produce dangerous toxins. Some bacteria are able to introduce their toxins into cells by a system similar to that of a syringe: they then disrupt the signaling pathways of the cell involved, for example, in the process of cell division. The bacteria can then multiply by using the machinery of human cells.

The signaling pathways are controlled by interactions of proteins, previously not well known researchers. Using a new method of research based on mass spectrometry, scientists were able to identify some of these proteins. The toxins use different proteins to attack cells varied. Dr. Selbach, Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, said that bacteria can tackle a wide variety of cells and thus increase their chances of survival.

This discovery should help develop better treatments against bacterial infections, including the signaling pathways disrupted by toxins.


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