Thursday , January 21 2021

New metabolic mechanism in bacteria – Medical News

An international study, led by Spanish researchers, found a new metabolic mechanism in the bacteria

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Details of the three-dimensional structure of the protein at atomic resolution / IRNASA

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Details of the three-dimensional structure of the protein at atomic resolution / IRNASA

This is the first evidence that some of these microorganisms, living in lightless and oxygenated environments, use metabolic mechanisms that are considered unique to photosynthesis organisms. The findings may help fight bacteria and antibiotics.

An international study led by the Institute for Natural Resources and Agronomy of Salamanca (IRNASA, CSIC Center) describes a new metabolic mechanism in bacteria. The finding, published in the prestigious scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Is the first evidence that certain bacteria living in environments lacking light and oxygen can use metabolic mechanisms that were considered unique to organisms to perform photosynthesis. In the biomedical field, this discovery has opened up a new way to fight against the resistance of certain bacteria to antibiotics.

Living beings produce the energy they need from food, through a very complex network of biochemical reactions, which, as a rule, we call metabolism. The metabolic processes that occur within the cells are the basis for life on a molecular scale, from which the energy required is, for example, to move, grow or replicate, among many other types of essential activities.

Also, the type of metabolic reactions that occur within the cells of the organism determines which types of substances will be nutrient for this organism which will be toxic. For example, some bacteria use hydrogen sulfide as a nutrient, but it is toxic gas to the vast majority of animals. In the same way, the special metabolism of plants allows them to live only water and water, which is impossible for animals.

This discovery opens up a new way to combat the resistance of certain bacteria to antibiotics

Therefore, there are plenty of variations of the metabolic reactions that occur in living organisms. In view of its relevance, the vast majority of metabolic processes have been extensively studied and characterized over the past decades. However, it is still possible to find new types of metabolic processes in certain organisms.

Exclusive protein of anaerobic bacteria

This study, led by Monica Balsara, an Irenassa researcher, examined a new, exclusively existing protein in some anaerobic bacteria, that is, bacteria that live in oxygen-deficient environments.

This protein is a chimera of two different proteins, which usually appear in separate metabolic pathways: on the one hand, NADPH-dependent Thordedoxin Reductase (NTR), which is found in all known living organisms; On the other hand, Tredoredoxin Reductase is dependent on Ferredoxin (FTR), which is exclusively for photosynthetic organisms.

The resulting protein, called perdoxin, is dependent on Flavin-Thiorredoxin Reductase (FFTR), because it contains an unprecedented mixture of the functions of the first two proteins. On the one hand, it interacts with the ferredoxin as the FTR does, on the other hand, it uses the same binding module to the floral cofactor as the NTR.

This is the first evidence that some bacteria use metabolic mechanisms considered unique to photosynthetic organisms

As a result of this mixture, a new protein is formed with unique properties described in detail, and for the first time, at work published at PNAS. To perform this study, it was essential to obtain the three-dimensional structure of the atomic resolution protein, which was obtained by high-energy X-ray diffraction experiments, produced ALBA (Barcelona) and diamond synchrotrons (Oxford, UK).

From a scientific point of view, discovery is of immense interest, considering that these are the first evidence that certain bacteria, living in oxygen-deficient environments where they are not exposed to light, use metabolic mechanisms previously thought to be unique to photosynthetic organisms, such as algae and plants.

From a biomedical point of view, the study is even more relevant if possible, since some of the bacteria in which this protein is found are highly dangerous pathogens, among them Clostridium, Clostridium botulinum and Tetanus Clostridium, Causing pseudomembranous colitis, botulism and tetanus disease, respectively.

This finding opens the door to the development of new approaches in the search for molecules with antibiotic activity, one of the most pressing health problems today, in view of the growing growth of resistant bacteria and many years due to the abuse of antibiotics.

Bibliographic Reference

Flavoenzyme-provokesin are linked to a family of independent pyrididine nucleotides and Thioredoxin. Reuben M. Bowie, David Fernandez-Jostell, Jose Mourinho; De Farda, Jose El Roblta, Peter Shurman, Bob Buchanan and Monica Balesera. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2018.

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