Sumary of Key to piercing harmful bacteria’s armor:
- Bacteria are single-celled organisms that are essential to human health, both in our environment and inside our own bodies..
- When a physician suspects an illness of bacterial origin, they will perform diagnostic tests to identify what bacterial species is causing disease so that a course of treatment can be devised..
- Scientists eventually discovered that Gram-negative bacteria resist dye uptake because they are enveloped in what is, essentially, a microbial suit of armor:.
- “Understanding how bacteria build this barrier is an important step in engineering strategies to circumvent it,”.
- said Thomas Silhavy, the Warner-Lambert Parke-Davis Professor of Molecular Biology, and the senior author on two new papers investigating the outer membrane, one in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the other in the journal Trends in Microbiology..
- “LPS helps to increase the mechanical strength of the Gram-negative cell envelope and it also forms a surface coating that prevents toxic molecules, including certain antibiotics, from entering the cell,”.
- LPS is a famously potent toxin that can cause severe illness when it is released from the bacterial outer membrane or secreted by the cell..
- As Guest and colleagues discuss in their article, the construction of the bacterial outer membrane represents a complex problem for bacteria because potentially dangerous LPS, made inside the cell, must be transported across the cell wall to reach the outer membrane..
- In addition, these processes must be balanced against the manufacture and transport of the other components of the membrane, which in Gram-negative bacteria is mainly made up of a class of molecules called phospholipids..
- For their studies, the colleagues used bacteria that have a mutation that increases the rate at which phospholipids flow from the inner membrane to the outer membrane…